UNISON believes that early years settings must be treated in the same way as primary schools and should be closed except to vulnerable and key workers’ children. On the other hand for some children the routine of coming to school may be necessary to meet their needs or they may need access to therapies and resources that are only available at school. He added that a statement will be published today. Schools should also follow alerts from the app to self-isolate when directed. All schools should keep supplies of transparent face coverings. We know that staff are unable to apply social distancing within early years settings, which already places them at increased risk. Ensure only those fully trained and equipped with the relevant protective equipment are involved in any deep clean. Opposition: Demand for rethink of 'rushed' school reopening plans In a tweet posted last night, Mr Richards said that, until the unions settle on a joint position, Unison members should not engage with planning for a return on 1 June. 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 this situation there is no expectation that active teaching takes place. Sufficient transport provision must be made available to avoid any overcrowding and allow safer travelling for staff and pupils. Risk assessments should decide whether PPE is necessary. Unions with members in the education sector are today (Wednesday) publishing a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools. We are dismayed that the new DfE guidance does not address concerns that UNISON and other unions have raised about the impact that new definitions of vulnerable and critical workers’ children will have on attendance and the ability to prevent viral transmission in schools. Early years settings, including nurseries, will remain open to all children during the lockdown. UNISON Cymru/Wales will post updates on its, UNISON Northern Ireland will post updates on its, Limit bubble sizes to a maximum of 15 pupils per class or 50% of the school’s usual class size, whichever is smaller and will ensure 2m social distancing, Staff should remain within their bubble at all times with no crossover working, Black staff (the government uses the term BAME), Staff living with or caring for a family member who is medically vulnerable at higher risk, Staff who are otherwise anxious about returning to work. Unions have claimed that a full reopening of schools in England could put teachers at "serious risk" of falling ill with coronavirus and could "fuel" the pandemic. 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. Statement on government announcement that schools and nurseries in England will remain open during the forthcoming lockdown, Letter from Jon Richards, UNISON head of education, about important issues that need addressing for schools and colleges to operate safely, School Food Plan Alliance checklist for COVID-19, UNISON head of education writes to Gavin Williamson asking why support staff have been ignored in government guidance and praise. 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. (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. “We don’t believe there will be enough cleaning staff to fulfil the mammoth task of keeping schools clean. The DfE has produced guidance on local outbreaks – see section 5 ‘contingency planning for remote education’. DfE guidance does allow for settings to reduce capacity when staffing is a problem. UNISON and other schools staff unions believe that schools should also: Employers must protect people from harm in the workplace. 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. UNISON believes that when a pupil or member of staff develops coronavirus symptoms or receives a positive test result within a bubble the rest of the bubble should move to studying from home. UNISON Head of Education says beginning of June reopening is unrealistic as safety tests not met. It This means that if you are employed under Green Book terms and conditions and are required to self-isolate you will continue to receive your normal pay. 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. Evidence shows that pre-school children are less susceptible to infection and are not playing a driving role in transmission.’. To undertake cover supervision, TAs should have skills and knowledge of at least level 3 and be paid at the appropriate grade for this level (see the NJC model job profiles). online and other home learning resources. For more information see our factsheet on cover supervision. That is why we are calling on schools to carry out role-based risk assessments. 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. UNISON believe that head teachers and school staff should work closely with parents to establish what is best for the child/young person given the numbers of staff and resources available in the school setting. UNISON believes that schools should permit and encourage staff and eligible pupils to use the app, following the DfE guidance. Schools should not use rooms which lack adequate ventilation, for example due to windows which cannot open. 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. School Reopening Plan School Schedule Model. 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. Responding to new Department for Education (DFE) guidance on the reopening of primary schools and nurseries and to meetings held on Friday 15 May between unions, officials and government scientists on the risk of Coronavirus transmission by children, UNISON head of education Jon Richards … If you have any concerns about your educational setting or need support please contact your branch for advice. We have produced questions for you to ask your school on test and trace in sections 7, 8 and 9 of the joint union checklist. Schools in Northern Ireland will have an ‘extended period of remote learning’. We will continue to place pressure on the Government and employers to ensure this. For example, a child/young person with an EHC Plan may present with underlying health problems that would put them at risk should they be exposed to Covid-19 unnecessarily. During the spring/summer lockdown it was expected that small classes/bubbles would be kept intact to restrict movement. Joint union statement: Unions representing workers in education have raised concerns about government plans for schools to reopen from 1 st June. In light of the important change in the Government’s position, which we welcome, some previous national health and safety advice no longer applies. A face mask (which is PPE) is provided on the basis of risk assessment as necessary to minimise the risk of infection. Referring to primary schools being closed in London, which is in the same tier as Birmingham, one said: "People were not understanding the difference between the two cities.". Only cleaning staff should be asked to carry out a deep clean of a school or particular area within the school. Reopening schools could fuel pandemic and put staff at serious risk, unions warn 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. In addition, individuals shouldn‘t have to work where they reasonably believe that they (or others) face serious and imminent danger. Meanwhile parents in several Tier 4 areas were confused today as to why their children are being made to return to primary school - when those in London and the South East are shut until later this month due to high case rates. 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 risks are too high. School employers have a legal duty to make sure that a risk assessment has been undertaken to identify the measures needed to reduce the risks from coronavirus (COVID-19) so far as is reasonably practicable and make the school COVID-secure. Suitably experienced teaching assistants should only be those those whose job description already includes this occasional responsibility, usually Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs, working at levels 4 and 5 according to the NJC model job profiles), and who are paid at the appropriate grade. Settings will also need to re-assess the risk to vulnerable staff and allow home working where possible. 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. The prime minister has announced an easing of lockdown and the relaxation of … UNISON strongly disagrees with this guidance. We expect that changes which impact on others should be discussed with all those affected, and that the local UNISON reps/contact should be involved. 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". These models will help schools provide parents with student schedules for in person learning. To read in full go to: www.tuc.org.uk/news/education-unions-statement-safe-reopening-schools For more information about your rights at work please visit our dedicated web page. We are therefore urging school leaders and headteachers to implement the following measures to protect pupils and staff from the new Covid strain: In special schools and alternative provision it will not be possible, or even appropriate, for every child to receive face-to-face provision every day. These practices should be adhered to at all times. If your manager continues to insist then contact your local UNISON branch and seek support. There are many government-backed schemes available to companies who provide school meals to help them through this time and reduce the effect on staffing. If your employer still refuses, contact your local branch. Nine unions, UNISON, AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, PROSPECT & UNITE have publicised a strongly worded statement saying that government ministers should step back from the 1st June target and put safety first. The DfE’s guidance for schools has a specific section on school staff: “Where support staff capacity is available, schools may consider using this to support catch-up provision or targeted interventions. This will include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and appropriate cleaning solutions along with instructions. Arrangements for remote learning should minimise the numbers of staff on site and avoid requiring staff to be on site unnecessarily. The call to delay the reopening of schools was supported by Unison, as the union's head of education Jon Richards said: "The Government must end … 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. Find out more about cookies and how we use them. 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. UNISON continues to raise this with government. 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”. 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. UNISON remains clear that members who work in schools have a right to a safe working environment. 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