Sutton councillors have expressed their concerns after learning that the government have only given 10 coronavirus test kits to each school in the borough.

The revelation came at the council’s Strategy & Resources Committee (on Monday) following several schools in Sutton confirming positive cases of Covid-19.

The council’s lead on education, Worcester Park’s Lib Dem councillor, Jenny Batt, enquired about the availability of tests to school pupils and teachers.

Councillor Batt said at the meeting: “I’ve been picking up on social media and locally that people are really struggling to get a test.

"If children and teachers cannot get a test, that is going to put in jeopardy the return to school.

Your Local Guardian:

“I know a family who tried to get a test last week, but had a problem with the government website.

MORE: Multiple Sutton schools report Covid-19 cases

"They tried to get a test from their employers but were told that key workers are no longer being prioritised and that the system is buckling under pressure.

“So are schools getting any tests? It should be a priority for schools to have tests.”

The response from council officers revealed that the Department of Health had sent 10 test kits to each of Sutton’s 70 schools.

Council leader Ruth Dombey responded that this was “extraordinary when we are encouraging parents to go back to work.

Your Local Guardian:

"If a child develops symptoms, presumably once the ten tests kits are gone, I can imagine that will happen in the first week, then that child will have to isolate which means the parents are at home as well.

"It seems ridiculous.

"Is it a distribution problem or a lack of supply?"

Sutton's Public Health Director, Dr Imran Choudhary, says he believes that there is a lack of supply.

He added that the ten kits are the initial roll out and that Sutton should receive some more. 

He went onto say that after concerns raised to the Department of Education, demands should "hopefully meet capacity by the end of this month."

Commenting after, Councillor Batt added:

“It’s absolutely appalling that ministers gave just 10 test kits to each school in Sutton.

"That’s around 700 test kits when we have a pupil population of around 48,000.

"It’s just surprising the government had a whole summer to prepare for children returning to school but somehow didn’t see this coming.

"The national and local mood is that ministers have repeatedly bungled their response to the Covid pandemic and I’m just shocked at this latest example.

"It’s also extremely disappointing for parents across Sutton who need to go back to work.

"Parents, pupils and teachers have all been very badly let down by Tory ministers.”