If the Department for Education is to advise early years providers to continue to provide care while instructing other education providers to close, it must provide a clear and unequivocal scientific basis for doing so. The DfE has provided guidance on using the app in schools. Evidence shows that pre-school children are less susceptible to infection and are not playing a driving role in transmission.’. image caption Schools in England began reopening to some year groups in June. Unison, GMB and NASUWT have also all called for the reopening of all schools to be postponed. Updated commentary on government guidance and checklist to support school risk assessments. Significantly the government and Public Health England have now admitted the role of airborne transmission, particularly in poorly ventilated places where groups of people spend long periods of time together (this crucial new information is particularly important for schools). This is different to the advice that the DfE issued in previous lockdowns. Please ensure your school has a copy. After the tireless efforts of UNISON branches, reps and members, the government has finally closed most schools to all except vulnerable and key workers’ children. Good employers will recognise the benefits of retaining experienced and committed staff and should consider the childcare needs of all staff when planning for the winter term and beyond. Yesterday, Education Minister Kirsty Williams, said schools will move to online learning until 18 January but UNISON says there is no way the essential preparatory work to ensure schools are safe to re-open to all pupils could be undertaken by then. Whilst we know that UNISON members working in special education always go above and beyond for the young people in their care we believe that the blanket definition of vulnerable issued by the DfE is very unhelpful and does not reflect the needs of pupils and learners. Risk assessments should decide whether PPE is necessary. Initial advice for these settings is provided below. Please see page 5 of the joint union checklist. 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's head of education Jon Richards continues to get your points across about wider reopening of schools in England. 5) Protection for the vulnerable. The importance of these measures cannot be overstated. 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. Download UNISON guidance for special schools/colleges and alternative provision. Nearly a quarter (23%) of support staff say primary schools have operated class sizes bigger than the 15 pupils per group maximum Schools should not permit routine movement between bubbles which undermines other safety measures. Should my school keep open its windows to reduce the risk of infection spreading? It’s back to school, but far from ‘back to normal’ for UNISON members and the wider community Posted in #BeOnTheSafeSide #OneTeam2K activist education Covid-19 economy health and safety member learning nhs pay regional secretary's blog schools reopening se education If you have issues with your employer, please urgently raise them with your rep or local branch for advice and assistance. UNISON has issued a joint statement calling for government reassurance that schools will not be completely re-opened until it is safe for staff to return to work. UNISON is concerned that the government is placing a heavy responsibly on schools without additional support and resources to deal with local outbreaks. Join UNISON and get essential cover wherever you work. UNISON is calling on the government to provide this evidence and further review guidance and increase support for the early years sector. The DfE guidance also states that any members of staff who have helped someone with symptoms, or pupils who have been in close contact with them, do not need to self-isolate unless: they develop symptoms themselves; if the symptomatic person subsequently tests positive; or if they have been requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace. UNISON also believes this will be the safest option for some other employees with underlying vulnerabilities. This will include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and appropriate cleaning solutions along with instructions. For cleaning staff, a risk assessment and training should be conducted and appropriate personal protective (PPE) equipment provided by the employer before any deep cleaning is carried out. If you are concerned about safety issues in your school or think that agreements are not being followed, please get in touch with your local UNISON branch. UNISON believes that all early years settings will need to review their risk assessments as a result of the increased transmissibility of the new variant of COVID-19 and the increased risk to staff. Responding to a joint statement by UK chief medical officers about school reopening, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said today (Sunday): “This acknowledgement of the transmission risk between staff in schools underlines why it’s … However, on advice from PHE, the DfE have updated their guidance for schools to state that all children aged 11 and over should wear face coverings on dedicated transport. Fast turnaround testing is vital and it is important that staff, parents and unions are alerted to any positive tests as early as possible to look out for others who might show symptoms. Under the new lockdown rules all clinically extremely vulnerable employees should now be working from home (or working from home on full pay if their role cannot be done from home). The importance of these measures cannot be overstated. If women are disadvantaged because their employer does not agree to reasonable flexible working arrangements to allow them to balance work and childcare, they may be able to claim indirect sex discrimination if reasonable attempts to resolve the matter individually or collectively do not resolve the issue. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that those care homes which offered full contractual sick pay to their staff carried lower risk of infection to their residents. 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. Private outsourced catering, cleaning, IT companies etc. Just reopening a school for in-person instruction on its own is not going to address the issue of safety,” Newsom said, promising sanctions for schools that don’t follow safety rules. UNISON believes that schools should undertake an individual risk assessment for any staff member who requests one, for example if they or someone they live with is in a vulnerable group (please see separate FAQ on vulnerable and higher risk groups). Leader of Kent County Council Roger Gough has asked Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to keep all the county's primary schools closed, saying it is "very hard to justify" having some open while others were closed. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player. In conjunction with the above, schools should: In this situation the employer should do the following: See our detailed advice. These models will help schools provide parents with student schedules for in person learning. In order to maintain PPA time, many schools operated an adjusted timetable, for example closing classrooms to pupils for a day or afternoon a week, using that time for staff to take PPA and for the school to be deep cleaned. Reopening schools could fuel pandemic and put staff at serious risk, unions warn ... (NEU), the NASUWT teachers’ union, GMB, Unison and Unite – calls for a move to remote learning for most pupils. Now, schools can now reopen if their county has a case rate below 28. He states that any mixing is a risk and that there is no basis for treating early years differently from schools. Maximum efforts need to be made to ensure that there is a fully integrated system nationally and locally. (AP) - Rural Modoc County in far northeastern Northern California plans to allow the reopening of schools, hair salons, churches, restaurants and the county’s only movie theater on Friday. 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. It If your manager continues to insist then contact your local UNISON branch and seek support. Terms and conditions. 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. Today’s statement is signed by GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, … Where HLTAs are deployed to lead classes, they should be provided with enough time, within their contracted hours, in which to plan and prepare, including opportunities to liaise with class teachers. This would not be fair on staff or pupils. The government’s advice on cleaning in a non-health care setting covers educational settings. In many schools September re-opening should see a return to previous practice. Education unions’ joint statement on the safe reopening of schools Unions with members in the education sector are today (Monday) publishing a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools. TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "The government's own advice from SAGE makes it clear that opening schools to all pupils now risks increasing the infection rate. Joint Statement on the Future Wider Reopening of Schools. He added that a statement will be published today. Reopening schools could fuel pandemic and put staff at serious risk, unions warn 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. Rosie Lewis, UNISON schools lead, added: “We’ve assessed the guidance and UNISON is absolutely clear that we cannot support the reopening of schools at the end of June. The statement from GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, UNISON and Unite sets out key principles and tests for the reopening of schools in England to ensure the safety of children, parents, staff and the communities they serve. The Department for Education (DfE) wants children back in primary schools in a phased reopening starting next month, ... and the public service union Unison, representing school … By continuing to use our website you are consenting to their use. 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. 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