Headmistress at St. John’s Prep. & Senior School supports government initiative to have all teachers tested and bears the cost to save the NHS the expense.
Following the announcement from Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, about the study to better understand the transmission rates of COVID-19 in schools – St. John’s Prep. & Senior School in Enfield is introducing a new initiative to have all their staff tested before they return to school.
Mrs C. Tardios, Headmistress at St John’s says, “Teachers are keyworkers, and if anything, this crisis has shown just how important they are and the work that they do.
“We’ve had parents wanting to send their children back to us in line with government guidelines, but some are hesitant to do so. This is the reason why we have taken the decision to pay for every teacher and staff member at the school to have a Coronavirus antibody blood test. As a result, parents’ confidence has grown, and we have now welcomed back 100% of students.
“Our teachers are offering the highest level of support and teaching throughout the lockdown. They have done an excellent job during this crisis and because of this we have been able to maintain a full-time face to face daily timetable for our pupils via zoom.”
Dr Anshumen Bhagat, father of a pupil at St. John’s Prep & Senior School and Chief Medical Officer at healthcare on demand service www.gpdq.co.uk comments:
“Getting back to school is an important step in returning to the ‘new normal’ post-Covid, so it’s paramount that the return is as clinically safe as possible. As a father of a pupil at the school, and the Chief Medical Officer at GPDQ.co.uk, I am reassured to know that a health assessment and testing programme is being performed to ensure every returnee is low risk in relation to Covid-19.
“I have witnessed first-hand the nervousness amongst parents deciding if now is the right time to return to school, but as soon as the news of a health assessment and testing programme was announced, the nervousness seemed to subside for most, and I guess that is due to parents knowing that apart from keeping children at home, absolutely every possible step has been taken to ensure their safe return.
“I only wish the same clinically-safe approach could be delivered in all schools, and I know for a fact that it can be done.” Mrs. Tardios continues, “We know that the NHS and our government are overloaded at this time, and we want to help them where we can. So, it was time for us to pay for these tests ourselves. We are leading the way on this, and we want to encourage all private schools across the UK to do the same. Everyone here at St John’s Prep & Senior School will have a test before they return to work, and we have had nearly 50 members of staff to date tested.” This, we believe, is the right thing to do.’