TEACHERS have not let us down. During the Covid pandemic teachers have continued to teach the children of key workers and vulnerable children. They have kept in contact with families to check that they are managing. Teachers have made home visits. They have ensured that weekly food packages are being delivered to families who receive free school meals. Teachers have often provided help for those needing to access to benefits. They have certainly not failed us.

And yet we are about to fail them – if we allow them to return to school with the inadequate package of measures offered by the Scottish Government which is supposed to ensure a safe return to school.

READ MORE: Ross Greer: Return to school must be as safe as possible for all

The one thing the government could have done (and only it CAN do it) is offer the teachers and the rest of the school community a detailed and well-thought-out programme of routine regular testing for all staff, whether they are symptomatic or not. Instead, teachers are offered an “enhanced surveillance programme” which cannot even be debated because it is not ready to roll out!

Ross Greer of the Greens is spot on: “Children may be at lower risk from the virus, but adult staff certainly aren’t. They deserve to know that their health and safety has been fully taken into consideration and see the evidence underpinning these instructions and guidance” (Return to school must be as safe as possible for all, July 31).

READ MORE: Scotland's schools reopening on August 11: The rules parents and kids must know

The teachers have done the best they can for our children under such difficult circumstances. Now the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Education must do the best they can for all staff going into school on August 11. Nothing short of routine mass testing of all school staff will do it.

Jean Kemp
Common Weal TTIS (Test, Trace, Isolate, Support) Group