Parents need to give a RATs

Nature reveals that 30% of parents won’t follow government back to school

COVID testing guidelines



A new survey by leading strategic insights consultancy Nature has uncovered that about a third of parents do not plan to follow the NSW and Victorian government guidelines of rapid antigen testing twice a week for school students.

With students starting to return to school, the research shows that only 58% of parents think that the new government policy is a good one, highlighting the doubts associated with the outcome of the plan.

When asked what they plan to do:
• 15% of parents say they will only use a test if their child has symptoms
• 13% of parents plan to test once a week or less
• 2% of parents say they will never test
• 70% plan to test their child(ren) twice a week as required

The research also revealed that 39% of parents said they would prefer to save any RATs provided by the government for another occasion, rather than testing on their kids twice a week.

Nature’s Managing Partner, Chris Crook, said: “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if people think it’s a good or bad policy, what matters is whether it’s going to work.

“If a third of people are not going to follow the policy correctly, it raises the question of whether it’s worth doing it at all. By not having tests done at schools or having parents show proof of testing, it opens the door to all manner of stockpiling and selling of a commodity which right now is pretty hot.

“The research suggests that the best efforts to keep COVID-19 out of schools aren’t going to be as successful as the policy is designed to be,” he said.

The research was conducted from 25 to 28 January 2022 based on a sample of 1,000 parents with children in primary and high school in NSW and Victoria.