GMB viewers predict schools will be ‘shut by Wednesday’ amid calls for testing to be made compulsory

Some argued the tests could be 'daunting' for pupils

GMB viewers have called for testing in schools to become compulsory, as some also shared their fears that this could result in schools being “shut again by Wednesday”.

The comments came after a segment on today’s show (March 5), in which hosts Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard revealed the results of a new survey.

Conducted by ITV News, it showed that 80% of schools think testing should be made compulsory.

Experts on the show had opposing views, as did Good Morning Britain viewers, it seems.

testing in schools
Kate and Ben led the schools debate on GMB today (Credit: ITV)

What happened on GMB today?

After Kate and Ben announced the results of the ITV News survey, the hosts introduced headteacher Sarah Bailey.

She said the prospect of taking a COVID-19 test could be “daunting” for some students.

Read more: Kate Garraway warned after she reveals she’s received COVID scam messages

Sarah also revealed that not allowing students to return to school if they don’t take a test could “deprive a lot of children of their education”.

Journalist and father-of-four Jamie East, meanwhile, believes the tests should be made compulsory.

He stated that he can’t “fathom why we’re still dilly-dallying” when we know the risks.

ITV’s UK editor Paul Brand, meanwhile, added that: “10 million people will be mixing in England from Monday.”

He suggested that, instead of an opt-in system for parents, schools should be able to switch it to an opt-out one.

This would enable schools to get round the issue, as some parents forget to opt out.

testing in schools
The show’s expert had opposing viewers on compulsory testing for schools (Credit: ITV)

What did viewers say about testing in schools?

Many viewers seemed keen to make testing in schools compulsory.

Why is it not compulsory? Why are teachers even having to think about it? This country is crazy,” said one.

“It should be mandatory. My wife is helping to administer the tests. Why should she be put at risk because of namby pamby parents?” another questioned.

Read more: Kate Garraway tells COVID doctor not to ‘feel guilty’ as she knows what they’re ‘up against’

“It’s the only way to keep them in school without the sending home to isolate all the time!! Make it compulsory!!!” declared another.

A fourth added: “It should be compulsary testing. No test no entry into school. Parents need to step back and think of the rest of the country and not just themselves.”

Another stated: “The one child that refuses to take the test and enters the school COVID positive completely nullifies all the tests done by staff and students and ruins education and lives of so many.

“It’s irresponsible for parents to refuse their child to have this test.”

‘Test on Monday, schools shut by Wednesday’

However, the idea of compulsory testing wasn’t for everyone, and some also pointed out that with testing comes the possibility of schools closing again after a number of positive tests.

“Testing kids on Monday morning… schools will be closed by Wednesday,” said one.

Another added: “Test test test and schools will be closed again by Wednesday.”

A third said: “Am I being thick? If among the 10m students mingling with each other on return to schools next week there are positive tests (and there surely will be), does that mean that schools and families are disrupted and forced into isolation again?”

Test test test and schools will be closed again by Wednesday.

However, others said it would be “assault” if pupils were made to take a COVID test.

“You can’t make someone take any medical test or medical treatment as it’s assault.

“If you said to some secondary pupils that they have to have a test, some would refuse just so they could stay off school. Compulsory tests for secondary pupils is a non starter.”

Another added: “No we shouldn’t make them compulsory.

“Think carefully about the precedent you are asking to be set. And IF you are a reasonably intelligent person, you will understand the future ramifications of such a strategy, not just for COVID.”

A third concluded: “If they make it compulsory my children will not be going to school.”

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