On Wednesday 30 December, Sir David Amess spoke in the House of Commons following a statement by Gavin Williamson regarding the return of children to schools in January.
Sir David asked the Secretary of State:
“Whilst welcoming my Right Honourable Friend’s statement would he join me in thanking all education providers in Southend West for their heroic efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. But most importantly when they return to school can I ask him to make sure that there is clarity in a practical sense for testing and the arrangements for the summer examinations.”
In his response the Secretary of State said:
“I thank my Honourable Friend, the Member for Southend West, for raising the wonderful work that educators, teachers and support staff have done in providing that ‘Rolls-Royce’ education that we want all children to benefit from.
We have already published considerable guidance and support for schools on the roll out of mass testing. We have also published information about the funding they will be able to receive so they are able to properly budget and provision for the type of support that they need in order to be able to roll out the mass testing in their school. But in those schools, and I hope it is a small number of schools, that have particular problems in establishing a testing regime, the armed forces have very kindly stepped forward along with Ofsted to be there to provide that support to get that established in those exceptional circumstances where schools and colleges are having real problems.”