Schools to receive just 10 coronavirus home testing kits and 'only small amount of PPE'
Schools in England will "only receive a small amount of personal protective equipment" and just 10 coronavirus home testing kits ahead of next week's reopening, the schools minister has confirmed.
With just days to go before millions of children return to schools, the Department of Health is sending PPE packages containing clinical face masks, aprons, gloves, visors and hand sanitiser.
Despite some schools teaching thousands of pupils, the maximum number of coronavirus home testing kits they will receive before they reopen next week is just 10.
The Department for Education said schools will be allowed to apply for more, but questions will be asked about why the initial contingency is so small.
The equipment is being provided "free of charge" by the Department of Health.
Schools will have to fund the majority of virus protection measures out of existing budgets.
Face coverings are only mandatory in English schools in local lockdown areas
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Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said: “All pupils are returning to school for the start of the autumn term – delivering on our national priority to get all pupils back to the classroom, which is the best place for their education, development and wellbeing.
“I have seen first hand the protective measures schools have put in place ahead of pupils returning, and the lengths they have gone to so that their pupils and staff are as safe as possible.
"This week schools and colleges will begin to receive their first home testing kits as well as personal protective equipment to use in the very rare situations in which it may be required.
“I hope this acts as additional reassurance to parents that schools are ready to welcome children back to school, adding to the growing parental confidence shown in recent opinion polls.”