Royal College of Paediatrics head calls for an end to Covid testing in schools

Children should not be forced to 'carry the burden' of the pandemic, and testing is causing chaos, Dr Camilla Kingdon said

10/18/2021 12:17:00 AM

'You are asking completely healthy children to test, with the potential to be excluded [from school]. There is just a real concern that we are increasing a level of chaos into the system that is unnecessary,' says Dr Camilla Kingdon

Children should not be forced to 'carry the burden' of the pandemic, and testing is causing chaos, Dr Camilla Kingdon said

The current regime in secondary schools - where pupils are told to take two lateral flow tests each week - is causing “unnecessary chaos”, according to Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the RCPCH.She told The Telegraph that children, who are not at risk from the virus, should not be forced to “carry the burden” of the pandemic.

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"You are asking completely healthy children to test, with the potential to be excluded [from school], there is just a real concern that we are increasing a level of chaos into the system that is unnecessary," she said.Headteachers have been told by ministers that many of the restrictions that were in place in the last academic year are no longer necessary. Children are now only meant to self-isolate if they have tested positive with a PCR test or have symptoms.

But after detecting a rise in cases, schools and local councils across the country have started to step up measures like asking children to go back to wearing face masks and bringing in new self-isolation rules such as telling children to stay at home if a sibling has tested positive.

It comes as Tory MPs are warning that the Government failed to publish the results of a review of mass testing in schools by the end of September.Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said that mass testing in schools is “utterly pointless” and “just another example of treating children as second class citizens”.

She said it is having a “huge impact” on pupils’ attendance, adding: "In my constituency, absence rates are considerably higher than normal. Not all those children are actually ill but because they have had a positive test they are not allowed in school for ten days.

“There is absolutely no reason to continue with mass testing children. All it’s doing is prolonging the disruption and prolonging the fear.”This week it emerged that Eton College has gone into "lockdown" with some pupils confined to their boarding house for 48 hours after a rise in cases.

There are also concerns about the number of false positives arising from lateral flow tests, with the latest official data showing that they are on the rise among school children. This week the UK Health Security Agency said it was looking into why this might be.

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Steve Brine, the Conservative MP for Winchester, said that constantly asking children to take Covid tests is “hammering” away at their mental health.“We can't carry on with this mass asymptomatic testing forever,” he said. “The country is looking the other way, many people have moved on from the pandemic. But in the world of education it is still a pandemic. What happened to the end of September review, what evidence was put to ministers?”

He said there are a “heck of a lot” of MPs who want to see testing in schools wound down, adding: “I simply don’t understand what the strategy is any more. I thought it was to project the vulnerable. We have long ago done that and are now well progressed in booster jabs. It seems to me that ‘Zero Covid’ strategy is alive and well.”

Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln, said tests are causing needless disruption in schools. “More and more parents across the country are beginning to say that it’s not a nice thing to have to do and certainly not twice a week. It’s an imposition on their lives and freedoms, and it’s treating them differently to adults.”

Many parents feel it is “unconscionable” to impose a greater burden on children than the rest of society, according to Molly Kingsley, co-founder of the parent campaign group UsForThem.“The general feeling from parents is that this has just gone on for too long,” she said. “These measures are not benign, we shouldn’t be disrupting children’s education, save in the most exceptional of cases.”

Prof Allyson Pollock, an expert in public health at Nottingham University, said the biggest problem with lateral flow testing in schools is that there has been no evaluation of its effectiveness.The impact of mass testing in schools “The whole purpose of a test is to try and stop transmission and infection,” she said. “We have no evidence to show that mass testing in schools will do that.”

The RCPCH has called on the Government to allow schools to “rethink” their approach to managing Covid, saying: “Children and teenagers need to focus on their education and school attendance must be encouraged without being interrupted by routine testing of asymptomatic children and teenagers.”

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A Government spokesperson said that mass testing in schools was reviewed as part of the Winter Plan, which concluded that it was a “valuable tool in minimising disruption” and should continue until the Christmas holidays. Read more: The Telegraph »

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They just wana stop testing kids because the list would prove they’ve had it, they’re immune and don’t need 3 jabs a year for life 😒 JuliaHB1 It’s optional, only the brainwashed comply. Test when ill absolutely but not weekly on healthy children Do only those prepared to mouth idiocy get promoted to ‘influential’ positions? Bangs head on desk in despair!

Amazing the complete ignorance about basic public health measures and how viruses spread before symptoms appear from head of the Royal College of Paediatrics. How did she get this job? Does she think children live on their own? Is she seriously saying that we should just allow children with covid into schools? Really?

Used to live in London... I have a love/hate relationship ship with Germany but for the sake of my child I'm so bloody grateful that they take Covid alilttle bit more seriously here... Get rid of test in schools and vaccinate ASAP we have been told all along that vaccination is the key to recovery -each health board could go into the schools and do mass vaccination if parents don’t want their child vaccinated take them out and home school them

Get a second opinion. Children ‘not at risk’ from Covid is a blatant lie. Even if you were to believe it, every child lives with at least one adult. Increased transmission among children is already leading to an increase in cases and hospitalisations in adults. Except if you go to Eton “with the potential to be excluded [from school]…*if rhey test positive*”. Are we serious about reducing case ’s or not?

Many kids with Long Covid appear to recover before falling ill around 4-6 weeks later. Those without a positive test are struggling to access any medical help. Most can’t even get referrals to paediatricians. Long Covid can include seizures, breathing issues & difficulty walking. Is this doctor suggesting she would rather have positive cases in school because it's 'just a cold'? 🙄

So educated doesn’t equate intelligent or common sense or have a straight moral compass? That’s the moral of the story here, right? More cognitive dissonance… yes we need to know! A 10yo boy was asymptomatic for 2 weeks in Dec 21, but then developed MIS-C. His leg was amputated in Jan 21. 9 months later, his other leg & both hands were amputated. Asymptomatic does not = harmless!

I’m so pleased she wasn’t in charge of the polio vaccine rollout. After all it didn’t kill all children did it so why bother 🤷‍♀️ My child tested positive with the only a mild headache as a symptom- we would never have kept her off school for that without the twice weekly LFTs. Yes it's rubbish to be kept off school but how else to stop it going into wider community?

But if they’re healthy what’s the problem?! Yes - this is how tests work. Has Dr Camilla not learned what tests do yet? The ‘completely healthy’ won’t be excluded unless it turns out they’re not actually completely healthy and just asymptomatic and potentially passing it on to others. Doing nothing is inviting the very chaos of which she speaks. Is she really a doctor or just bought & paid for?


It is complicated, isn’t it? We are still in this pandemic bc experts like Dr Camilla have difficulties understanding the asymptomatic part of this disease. She should do whatever it takes to control this disease and protect children. Else she is in the wrong job 'cases are only up because testing is up therefore stop testing' - Donald Trump and the literal top paediatrician in the UK?

This level of misinformation borders criminal behaviour. Shame on you Telegraph Not completely healthy. Not only not healthy because they are infected, but also at risk of long COVID which may appear several weeks later. Depriving children of surveillance testing will miss their initial infection and make long COVID treatment harder to figure out.

You’re almost as bad as the MailOnline now aren’t you. Finally, SOME Medical professionals starting to speak up against this Fakedemic of Lies and Testing madness! The RCPCH is unfit for purpose and should be abolished. Fast. While something can still be salvaged from this sorry mess. God knows how Camilla sleeps at night.

Dr of what... mathematics? We shouldn't test people and quarantine them during a cholera outbreak...we'll just treat people as and when they start shitting everywhere! Telegraph expect bed-bound kids to go into school just to maintain the ‘get back to normal’ bullshit. Stop using kids as political footballs, the lie that ‘kids don’t catch covid’ was blown apart long ago.

Is this the same head of royal college that wants patients with ME/CFS to exercise despite all the reports of harm and has paused the new finished guideline because of it? She's up there with Patel for evil woman of the year.

🤦🏻‍♀️ FFS...asymptomatic? NOT necessarily the same as 'healthy'. It could also mean infectious AND passing it on to others. This article, The Core Logic of Infectious Diseases, may explain why covid19 is airborne. It’s a real concern she doesn’t realise the damage such a ridiculous statement can do. We need to StopTheSpread and testing can help catch the asymptomatics who would eventually otherwise silently spread covid to a CEV child or adult with awful consequences.

📢 Dear 'Dr', the only reason so many children are infected and missing school is because imbeciles have proactively allowed Covid19 to rip through children, NOT because of testing. Let's be clear. Don't try to hide that & don't you dare claim children are unaffected by Covid19 I despair, how ignorant of basic epidemiology do you have to be to not understand the problem of presymptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of infection? Haven’t you ever heard of Typhoid Mary?

Everyone at Eton has no problem with daily testing Why are you perpetuating lies? 🤔hmm. We have the highest new infection rate in the world according to Worldometers… Infections in school are through the roof… We should be doing more testing not less… 🙄 No, they’re asking potentially infected children to test. They just don’t know which till they test them, obviously. Who is this woman? Is she more interested in protecting children’s long-term health, or exam results?..

'Unnecessary chaos ?' More and more children (and teachers I'd assume) are getting sick and it's being treated as an inconvenience this is beyond horrible I suspect a 'chickenpox' strategy. - Children deemed invulnerable (ignores long covid and *unknown* long term effects). - Infect early, infect young, infect all. - Infecting as vectors that boost waning adult immunity. SAGE 94 quote.