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Urgent advice for all members in Schools

The following information has been sent out by the national office to all members in Schools and we are sharing it again here to ensure it is seen by as many members as possible. We will continue to share updates on the situation regarding Schools and COVID19 as we receive further details.

If your school is open to all pupils this week

After careful consideration of the scientific advice given to government and current infection rates, UNISON does not believe it is safe for you to attend the workplace at present if your school is fully opened to all pupils.

This advice applies to all primary schools, special schools, SEND settings and early years settings in England.

Our advice is that you should decide to advise your head teacher or employer that you will not be attending the workplace on Monday but will be available to work remotely from home, or will only be in school to support provision and the learning of key worker and vulnerable children if necessary.

We have produced a model letter for you to send to your head teacher/employer to inform them of this and assert your safety rights at work. Please read the advice at the link below carefully.

You have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic and we hope you will support this difficult decision made with staff, pupil and community safety in mind. The main teachers’ union, the NEU, has issued similar advice to its members and we continue to work closely with them.

If you work in a secondary school

If you work in a secondary school and have safety concerns about the limited opening over the coming week, please urgently contact your safety rep or your branch. We will issue updated guidance on mass testing and other health and safety issues as soon as possible.

UNISON’s national schools committee (made up of ordinary members working in schools) meets on Monday to discuss next steps, and we will keep you updated via email and on our Facebook page.

If you need support, please get in touch with your local branch.

Jon Richards
UNISON Head of Education

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