Doctor accuses Gavin Williamson of ‘ruining kids’ education’ as her son is ALREADY isolating at home after a classmate ‘tested positive’ for Covid on a lateral flow test – but came back negative on the more reliable PCR test
- Dr Rachel Clarke, a palliative care doctor from Oxfordshire, tweeted her frustration after her son was forced to self-isolate for ten days
- She explained how a fellow classmate had returned a positive lateral flow test, but had later proved negative for Covid after taking the more reliable PCR test
- She told Education Secretary: ‘This is kids’ education you are ruining’
A frustrated doctor has criticised Education Secretary Gavin Williamson over the testing of secondary school pupils for Covid, saying her son has been forced to self-isolate just one day after returning to school.
Palliative care doctor Dr Rachel Clarke, from Oxfordshire, accused the Government of ‘ruining kids’ education’, saying her child would now have to spend ten days at home after one of his classmates tested positive for Covid on a lateral flow test – but not on the more reliable PCR test.
Clearly exasperated, the mother-of-two, wrote: ‘You really, really couldn’t make this up. After one day of school, my son and 30 other pupils are self-isolating at home for 10 days after one child had a positive school lateral flow test. *Even though* the subsequent gold standard PCR test was negative.’
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Dr Rachel Clarke, a palliative care doctor from Oxford, tweeted her frustration after her son was forced to self-isolate for ten days following a false positive test in a fellow pupil, saying: ‘Why, why, why are you not listening to the scientists on this?’ (Dr Clarke pictured in 2016)
Dr Clarke called the decision to keep whole classes at home following a positive lateral flow test – even if they had tested negative with a more reliable PCR test later on – ‘unscientific madness’ (Pictured: Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson)
She continued: #That’s 31 children denied face-to-face education for 10 whole days – even though @Number10press allegedly clarified yesterday that PCR superseded LFTs. Sheer, bureaucratic, unscientific madness.’
Clarke added: ‘What are you playing at @GavinWilliamson @educationgovuk? Just because a LFT was taken at school, not home, it doesn’t mean it’s more reliable than PCR.
‘Why, why, why are you not listening to the scientists on this? This is kids’ education you are ruining.’
Many pupils returned to the classroom on Monday, with primary schools all re-opening and secondary schools implementing a staggered return.
However confusion has reigned over the issue of ‘false positives’ returned by initial lateral flow tests.
Pupils and teachers across the country begin testing as they return under the easing of lockdown restrictions (Pictured: Year 11 students take lateral flow Covid-19 tests in the Sports Hall at Park Lane Academy in Halifax)
SAGE expert: ‘A rise in cases is inevitable as pupils go back to school’
Sending children back to schools is ‘absolutely’ safe and people shouldn’t panic if Covid case numbers rise because of it, a SAGE expert claimed today.
Professor Calum Semple, an expert in child health and outbreak medicine at Liverpool University, pointed to studies that have shown primary school pupils are less likely to catch or spread Covid.
He said parents can be ‘very confident’ that their children are not severely affected by Covid.
He added teachers faced ‘more of a risk’ from mixing with their colleagues than their children.
Professor Semple warned schools reopening and social contacts increasing meant it was ‘inevitable that we will see a rise in cases’.
Professor Semple told BBC Breakfast: ‘The subtle question about transmission and teachers, and bringing it home, well the school infection survey is showing that primary school children are half as likely to have had it and probably half as likely to transmit it.’
Education Minister Vicky Ford said this week that if a student tests positive for Covid with a lateral flow test but then tests negative with a PCR test then they should not return to school.
However, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman clarified this was not true and that children who receive a negative PCR test should be allowed to return to school.
Students, however, who test positive in a lateral flow test at school during the early phase will not get a confirmatory PCR test.
The clarification came after children’s minister Vicky Ford suggested there would be no PCR tests at all.
The first three tests for secondary and college students will take place under supervision at their places of education, before being taken twice weekly at home.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: ‘Children who take a lateral flow test at a school environment or a controlled environment, if they receive a positive lateral flow test, they won’t need a PCR test.
‘But children who receive a positive lateral flow from a test taken at home, they will require a PCR test.
‘If a PCR test is negative following a positive lateral flow, children can go back to school.’
He said that the aim would be to get PCR tests out ‘as quickly as possible’ after the positive lateral flow test and explained that PCR tests are not needed after school tests because they are done ‘under supervision in a controlled environment’.
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