The risks are too high. If you have issues with your employer, please raise them with your UNISON rep or local branch for advice and assistance. Schools should consider contingency arrangements for appropriate cover supervision in their planning. Contents Covid-19 second wave – we need fully funded Local Government, NHS, and public services Unison General Secretary election Fire Service Schools Private Care Sector exploits workforce Representation Facility Time Covid-19 second wave We need fully funded Local Government, NHS, and public services The Tories record on combatting Covid-19 has been disastrous and as we […] 0-5 year olds continue to have the lowest confirmed rates of coronavirus of all age groups, and there is no evidence that the new variant of coronavirus disproportionately affects young children. Government guidance outlines the key workers who must remain active to deliver this education provision in England, which includes childcare, support and teaching staff, social workers and specialist education professio… The app is available to anyone aged 16 or over, therefore some students in years 11 and 12 can use the app alongside staff. Cover supervision should only be for a teacher’s short-term absence from the classroom where the absence was not known about in advance (for example to cover short-term sickness). Reopening schools could fuel pandemic and put staff at serious risk, unions warn. Schools with a confirmed case of coronavirus can contact DfE’s dedicated schools coronavirus helpline on 0800 046 8687 to seek advice on what action is needed. This joint statement sets out a number of key principles and tests that the school workforce unions believe are essential to have in place before any plans are taken forward to reopen schools in England more widely in the coming period. If you have any concerns about your educational setting or need support please contact your branch for advice. Department for Education guidance does not mention schools carrying out individual risk assessments for vulnerable school staff – despite the fact that government advice for businesses reopening advises them to consider vulnerable groups. Reopening schools could fuel pandemic and put staff at serious risk, unions warn UNISON believes that all staff should be allowed to test as early as possible after suspected contamination, as this will limit potential cross infection. In the meantime if you wish to wear a face covering and your employer is refusing to allow you to, please draw their attention to the HSE advice. In schools where there have been a high number of cases of children needing to isolate, there may have been a downturn in demand for school meals due to fewer children buying them. See section 8, ‘keeping occupied spaces well ventilated’ of the Dfe guidance for more information. The government also needs to increase the short-term funding support to early years settings during this second wave to ensure that we have a sustainable sector when demand returns to normal. UNISON is also calling on school employers to require contractors to pay full sick pay and the real Living Wage as a minimum as part of our Clean Schools, Safer Schools campaign. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player. UNISON is concerned that the very limited measures in the DfE guidance mean social distancing in schools will realistically be very difficult and very little PPE will be provided. Primary schools in the Tier 4 areas hardest hit by the new coronavirus variant are due to open on 18 January. During the spring/summer lockdown it was expected that small classes/bubbles would be kept intact to restrict movement. All schools should keep supplies of transparent face coverings. Terms and conditions. Brighton and Hove City Council has said primary school students should not return until 18 January, except for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers. Your school should review, update and consult you on its risk assessment as new restrictions are announced. Your school has a legal requirement to update its risk assessment to include additional/revised control measures needed for the school to remain open safely and to consult with trade unions. UNISON is concerned that DfE advice for September states that bubbles can potentially be as large as entire year groups and that staff can move between classes and year groups. Teaching union, NEU has set out five tests which it argues are essential to be met to ensure the safe reopening of schools: 1) Much lower numbers of Covid-19 cases. If your employer still refuses, contact your local branch. UNISON has also produced questions for you to ask your school on local outbreaks in our joint union checklist – see sections 7, 8 and 9 and ‘contingency planning’ on page 20. This guidance says that PPE is only needed if the staff members looking after the child can’t keep two metres away. In this situation there is no expectation that active teaching takes place. Speaking at a London hospital rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the first time today, Boris Johnson said the government is "doing everything we can to protect teachers". As a result, schools will have fewer protective measures in place to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 than most other workplaces. We expect that it will be necessary to increase school transport in many areas. There is also a model letter for you to send to your employer should you need it. Today’s statement is signed by GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, … are still being paid by the school, so contracted staff should be fully paid. It follows a longer statement addressed to the secretary of state for education on Friday (8 May), which fully detailed the principles and tests necessary for the safe reopening of schools. unison.org.uk Reopening delay is sensible to make school mass testing work, says UNISON | News, Press release | News | UNISON National Primary opening should also be held back Please raise this with your school. The DfE has now stated that the national restrictions mean that all children who can stay at home should stay at home. Please contact your branch and let them know. That's in no one's interest. He added that a statement will be published today. UNISON believes that schools should permit and encourage staff and eligible pupils to use the app, following the DfE guidance. With rising transmission rates in primary schools we are also calling for urgent consideration of a requirement for face coverings in the classroom in primary school (with exemptions) as is the case in countries such as France. Also please see our advice on face coverings in the FAQ below. Most San Diego County school districts have reopened or plan to reopen in October Education Meanwhile a few South County districts are staying closed for rest of 2020. Unions with members in the education sector today (Wednesday) published a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools. Schools in Northern Ireland will have an ‘extended period of remote learning’. However, speaking on the BBC, Calum Semple, professor of child health and a member of the government’s own scientific advisory committee said that the decision to keep early years settings was a political one and not one based on scientific advice. Schools are being urged "not to engage with planning" for a return on 1 June, and instead await further advice from education unions. Please see page 5 of the joint union checklist. Please read the detailed advice we have produced for vulnerable employees. Joint union letter asking the Secretary of State for Education what scientific advice the DfE sought and received before making decisions about school attendance, Letter setting out schools’ H&S responsibilities and responding to Gavin Williamson’s claims about union advice, Joint union advice on medically vulnerable and higher risk groups for schools and colleges. This policy to younger pupils at a national level is continuously monitoring situation... Should consider contingency arrangements for remote education can help you to send to your branch. They too should be taking in this situation there is no basis for treating early settings. 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