Surely it’s a case of when, not if, schools across the country shut down completely because of coronavirus, right?

The scientific predictions were grim this week and we now have to live with another six months of restrictions.

We’re told everything possible is being done to keep schools open till the very last.

But last Thursday, just two weeks in, more than one million children, equivalent to 13% of pupils, were off, largely due to Covid-19 cases, or youngsters and staff forced to self-isolate.

This is up 88,200 in a week according to the Department for Education’s own figures.

Paul Whiteman, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, says: “The failure of Covid testing sits at the heart of this.” I totally agree.

Could we see the return of home schooling?

The children of a working mum friend of mine returned to school this month after being off during lockdown.

Last week her daughter had the flu jab and got a slight temperature, a common side effect, which the mum rightly reported to the school.

But, because a high temperature is also a Covid-19 symptom and she can’t get a test anywhere, she, her partner, her kids and her daughter’s entire class now have to self-isolate for two weeks.

She’s gutted, as is her daughter. Haven’t schoolchildren suffered enough?

She’s lucky to be able to work from home. How many parents who can’t work from home would report a raised temperature without a ­positive Covid-19 test, when it could mean losing wages?

You’re only entitled to the Government’s £500 if you are on low wages and are told by the official NHS Test and Trace team to self-isolate.

If you quarantine just because you’re displaying symptoms, you don’t qualify. How is that fair?

The Government has got to get a grip of this testing debacle. Meanwhile we must start school contingency planning for when, rather than if, shutdowns happen.

Prepare for the return of homeschooling now. Ensure all children have computers. We don’t want to hear any more stories of five kids sharing their mum’s iPhone.

Start, as I’ve been banging on about for ages, looking at alternative places to have classes – empty offices for example – where social distancing can be enforced more effectively. Make a decision and move the spring A-level and GCSE exams now so children have as much time as possible to prepare.

Get in front of it before it’s too late. Some may say it already is.