PARENTS are being told to submit Covid results as schools have been plagued with fake codes from pupils who “couldn’t be bothered” to do tests.

Secondary schools across Southend will be told to tell parents to send in their child’s results and “check it’s been done as if it’s homework.”

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health in Southend, claims students were “faking” test results during the final term of last year.

In multiple cases, pupils were using other students’ confirmation codes for negative tests, rather than testing themselves, Mr Ramkhelawon told the Echo.


He said: “It’s a simple thing to check that a test has been done, just like checking if they’ve done their homework.

“We’ve seen that students weren’t doing tests, and using fake codes instead.

“The only way to maximise compliance is to do it at school.

“It will be challenging for the year sevens, who haven’t been tested in this way before.”

Year seven pupils will be shown how to complete two Covid tests upon their return.

Mr Ramkhelawon fears the return of pupils to the classroom will see a “huge spike” in cases in Southend.

He compared next week’s return to the situation in November last year, which saw cases increase tenfold once students went back to school.

The director of public health is concerned at rising rates among the over 60s in the town, after the rates have increased from 74 cases per 100,000, to 112 a week later.

He added: “Without parents’ support we’re going to find this very difficult to do.

“It is risky the way it’s being done, but we have to assume the support from parents is there.

“I would rather us do at least one supervised test in the first week, but I know that will take too long at the larger schools.

“We’re hoping that the weather will be warm enough to keep the windows open to help ventilation.”

Schools will continue to report to NHS Track and Test once a positive case is reported, but Southend Council will step in and manage a school outbreak once ten cases are recorded.

Mr Ramkhelawon refused to rule out closing schools or “putting them in lockdown” if an outbreak becomes out of control, or introducing mask wearing for up to two weeks in individual schools.

Closing schools would be a “last resort.”