AN ACADEMY leader and former headteacher has urged parents to get their pupils tested for Covid-19 as schools start back next week.

Clive Corbett, former head of Pershore High School and current Executive Officer of Avonreach Academy Trust has said that although testing places an extra strain on schools as they start back on Monday, it is vital to help prevent a spike in infection rates as school children and staff come together again.

Mr Corbett said: “While the testing puts a burden on schools, testing is vital to prevent another spike in infection rates and I want to strongly encourage all parents to get their children tested to keep everyone safe.”

Pupils in the Lower Sixth, Year Ten and Year Nine at The Royal Grammar School Worcester on the Upper Tything in the city have begun testing.

A spokesman for the school said: “It’s lovely seeing pupils back on-site, even in a testing capacity. We look forward to more testing.”

Neil Morris, headteacher at Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form, on the Bromwich Road said although testing has proved a “complex” challenge, one potential case has been spotted early before having the potential to spread.

Neil Morris said: “Testing has created a complex challenge, causing minor disruption to the school.

“My staff have got a ‘can-do’ attitude and so far, we’ve tested over 1000 students and will continue to test and so far, we’ve picked up one possible positive case.

“All the effort in testing is worth it just for the one case who can be then get further testing and isolate at home.”

Gareth Doodes, headmaster of The King's School in Worcester, said it was a "very proud" moment of his tenure to be testing pupils and getting them back to school.

Mr Doodes said: "Over the coming 10 days King’s will deliver 3000 COVID tests for its pupils.

"All our pupils apart from the Upper Sixth will be back from Tuesday, and they return on Wednesday having completed online mock exams.

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"To say I am proud of the staff and near 40 volunteers who have made this work would be an understatement.

"We can’t wait to get our pupils back to school, and for this challenging time to pass so we can meet, learn, love and laugh together as a community again."