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unison schools reopening

During the spring/summer lockdown it was expected that small classes/bubbles would be kept intact to restrict movement. UNISON does not believe that it is either possible or appropriate for a special school, college or alternative provision to be able to remain open to all pupils whilst ensuring the health and safety of pupils, carers and staff during the lockdown. "The impact on teachers and other workers in the schools and on parents [of catching the virus] is bad. 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. Some schools are operating an adjusted timetable to maintain smaller bubbles and facilitate PPA time. Pupils sitting GCSE and A-Level exams this year are due to go back on 11 January, with the rest of secondary school year groups returning on 18 January. This is different to the advice that the DfE issued in previous lockdowns. Gavin Newsom signed into law last week largely keeps intact funding for California’s public schools, capping a turbulent couple months of budget negotiations. Where bubbles/small classes remain, the school must do a risk assessment to ensure that any adjustment to ‘normal’ routine and/or staff moving between classes/bubbles does not increase risks. Join UNISON and get essential cover wherever you work. We expect that it will be necessary to increase school transport in many areas. The Department for Education (DfE) wants children back in primary schools in a phased reopening starting next month, ... and the public service union Unison… UNISON Head of Education says beginning of June reopening is unrealistic as safety tests not met. The government have advised clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield during this lockdown. UNISON remains clear that members who work in schools have a right to a safe working environment. In addition Boris Johnson said during Prime Minister’s Questions on 11 May that he expects employers to be reasonable and take account of employees’ childcare difficulties: “We will count on employers to be reasonable if people can’t go to work because they can’t get the childcare that they need…plainly they are impeded from going to work and they must be defended and protected on that basis”. 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. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis school staff have gone above and beyond to keep schools running and support children and young people. The Local Government Association (LGA) has advised employers to follow the same guidance they circulated during the March lockdown for clinically vulnerable staff. UNISON’s advice is that employers should instead seek to maintain smaller groups – preferably no larger than a normal class in primary and KS3 and half a year group in KS4. 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. You can view the schools’ approved waiver applications and reopening plans on … Many schools are choosing to operate a staggered lunch and/or break service to keep ‘bubbles’ separate and this does show that the school is putting safety of staff and pupils as a high priority when they do this. Unison members in schools and nurseries throughout Dundee are to meet this week to discuss the implications of schools reopening. If this evidence doesn’t exist, then the government cannot and must not put the safety of staff and local communities at risk. 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. Early years settings in Northern Ireland and Scotland have closed to help prevent the spread of the virus, yet the DfE in England has said that it will withdraw funding from any nursery in England that closes, leaving many in an impossible position. The government has asked schools and childcare providers to provide care for children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. All evidence to date suggests that ventilation is hugely important in helping reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading (risk decreases outdoors). 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. The app is available to anyone aged 16 or over, therefore some students in years 11 and 12 can use the app alongside staff. The point of a bubble is to minimise the risk of infection by minimising contact and mixing and to allow easier identification of contacts. One of the main issues across all schools that are still open is the government’s new and wider definition of ‘vulnerable children’ which means in some schools we are seeing larger numbers of pupils attending school than in the first lockdown in March. Schools should reduce bubble sizes to limit spreading the virus. Ensure only those fully trained and equipped with the relevant protective equipment are involved in any deep clean. On 5 Jan, both England and Scotland went into lockdown. Reopening schools could fuel pandemic and put staff at serious risk, unions warn. Rather, pupils should carry out a pre-prepared exercise under supervision. The school should, at the minimum, pay you to the end date of your assignment. 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. Schools must ensure that they always have adequate supplies of PPE available. Again, you should seek advice from your local UNISON rep or branch first. capability etc. © Copyright 2021 Privacy policy In the current climate it is extremely unlikely that any special school/college can operate as usual. Six trade unions have released a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools and slammed the government for its “chaotic handling” of the return of children to the classroom for the start of term this January amid the Covid crisis. The DfE latest advice states that all children and young people with an EHC Plan are vulnerable. "Bringing all pupils back into classrooms while the rate of infection is so high is exposing education sector workers to serious risk of ill-health and could fuel the pandemic," they said in a statement. Please see UNISON’s Cymru/Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland websites at the links above for further information on restrictions in these countries. UNISON believes that contractors should comply with the same procedures as the school in this emergency, otherwise this could undermine attempts to reduce the spread of virus. The PPE required will depend on the nature of your role and should be issued where the risks you are exposed to make it necessary, such as cleaning staff and anyone administering first aid, medical care or personal support for special needs pupils. All risk assessments should be periodically updated or as and when local and or individual circumstances change. However, changing your hours of work is a change to the terms and conditions that you agreed to when you took the job and must not be done without your consent. However, there are still some education settings where the situation is uncertain, particularly early years, which the government says should stay open. Close contact means within 2 metres of someone for 15 mins or more. We are calling on the government to include early years staff as a priority group for both testing and vaccination along with all other education staff. 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. Added that a statement will be the safest option for some other employees with underlying vulnerabilities harm in the that! Current climate it is extremely unlikely that any special school/college can operate as.... 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