Peter Aldous highlights the logistical challenges facing colleges such as East Coast College as they prepare to test 5,000 students and 650 members of staff ahead of reopening and calls on the Government to work with colleges in a collaborative and flexible way to address the obstacles as they arise.
I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement. Further education colleges such as East Coast College are preparing for and will arrange a return on 8 March, although organising three tests on site during that week for 5,000 students and 650 members of staff before moving to home testing will present a significant logistical challenge. I would be most grateful if he could confirm that his Department will work with colleges in a collaborative and flexible way to address this and any other obstacles that may arise.
We absolutely will work with colleges and schools to support them, and we are not just putting the equipment at their disposal but providing the financial resources for them to roll out this massive testing programme. Colleges will have two weeks to conduct the three tests, and we have given colleges and schools the flexibility to allow students and children to come into college and school to take the tests before the official reopening on 8 March.