Working in school in 3rd trimester - Covid

(20 Posts)
penguin423 Tue 11-Aug-20 18:02:16

Hi everyone,

I am a teacher who has returned to work in school this week following online teaching from home then holidays - currently 20wks pregnant.

I did my risk assessment with my line manager and she thought the advice was that you should work from home in the 3rd trimester.

I had heard something about this nearer the start of the pandemic but have also read things which suggest that if you have no other factors, you're OK to be in the work place.

I have an apt with the midwife next week and will speak to her but wondered what other experiences are?

Although I would of course not put the baby in jeopardy, if it was a choice then I would rather be working in school.

Thank you!

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ablisha Tue 11-Aug-20 18:20:48

Hi @penguin423
I'm in the same boat as you, due during October half term. I asked my midwife yesterday and they said they didn't know 🤦🏻‍♀️ and to ask my GP! I feel even more confused now!
My school said their understanding was everyone is back in with risk assessments etc. but they also wanted me to check with my midwife.

FirstTimeBumps Tue 11-Aug-20 19:23:20

I think the advice for all shielding or vulnerable, including women in their third trimester, was eased begining August. I'm the same as above, due the day we break up for October half term 🙈

Pinktruffle Tue 11-Aug-20 19:36:51

@FirstTimeBumps but yet the NHS is still sending staff in their third trimester home as that is what RCOG recommends. I think the truth is no one knows and it won't be uniform across all schools, everyone will have their own interpretation.

FirstTimeBumps Tue 11-Aug-20 19:38:36

@Pinktruffle don't you just wish there was clear cut guidance 😭

Foreverbaffled Tue 11-Aug-20 19:41:07

It’s so confusing isn’t it. I thought the guidance was still that women in their third trimesters should work from home where possible. I’m an NHS nurse and no chance they would let me into work at that stage!

IWantAPetUnicorn Tue 11-Aug-20 19:41:56

Post from Royal Colleges today.

Working from home or adjustments to ensure social distancing is properly in place. I’m also a pregnant teacher and can’t see this happening in reality!


RWK29 Tue 11-Aug-20 19:44:23

I’m not working in a school but I was told by the midwife that they aren’t advising pregnant women to work after 32 weeks 🤔 although she couldn’t give me an official letter to say this which would allow me to be signed off on full pay until the start of Mat Leave, she just wanted me to pull my Mat leave forward!

Pinktruffle Tue 11-Aug-20 20:26:39

@FirstTimeBumps the government just won't make anything clear, it's like they are just shirking responsibility!

I'm in at risk group and this is an IVF pregnancy so I think I will be fighting to stay at home come September. My work have told me that they don't know if I can return to school but I think if they try to make me I'll be pulling in as much resource/evidence I can find to work from home.

MissHoney85 Tue 11-Aug-20 20:28:12

The Union guidance is that pregnant women (regardless of gestation) should not be in school unless supported by a risk assessment. I guess the contents of that risk assessment will ideally reflect the current medical guidance, as well as individual circumstances like the year group you teach and extra safety measures you might be able to teach.

I've asked my HT for a referral to Occupational Health so they can do the risk assessment. I'm a little concerned as I teach in the EYFS and so social distancing will be pretty much impossible, and I won't be able to wear a mask or anything.

If the risk assessment says that you can't go into school then the school needs to give you work to do at home, or put you on paid medical leave. They are not allowed to make you take your maternity leave early.

IWantAPetUnicorn Tue 11-Aug-20 20:32:57

I think my head teacher will wait until the day before I’m due back in school to produce a RA that says it’s perfectly safe for me to teach in a Reception classroom.

Rainbowafterthestorm Tue 11-Aug-20 20:45:30

When you look at the new government guidance (google government covid school guidance) it points women in their third trimester to the RCOG guidance for health care workers (to shield for 28 weeks), even though we are not patient facing. Your school should already have a covid school risk assessment in place, ask to see that. Mine states that pregnant women over 28 weeks have a choice (it’s a trust one that covers nursery’s, primary’s and secondary’s), however I’m planning on going back (I’m secondary so feel like social distancing is easier). I’ve been told my person specific covid risk assessment will be done later in August just incase anything changes.

IWantAPetUnicorn Tue 11-Aug-20 20:54:10

The school one just says individual risk assessment to be completed for pregnant staff.

penguin423 Tue 11-Aug-20 22:21:49

Thank you everyone for sharing. Definitely not clear cut. I did the Risk Assessment today for pregnancy and we added the Covid elements in. Best of luck to everyone over the coming weeks.

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Kreacheriscleaning Wed 09-Sep-20 18:46:26

Has anyone had any updated guidance in this?
I spoke to someone from one of our local schools today who said that they had had new guidance and she had been sent home. She is 29 weeks.
My school don’t seem to be aware of this guidance and I can’t find it so am still in at 31 weeks.

Catchingbabies Wed 09-Sep-20 20:20:36

Updated RCOG guidance

2020N Sat 12-Sep-20 09:53:20

I had my risk assessment during the inset days last week and it included not carrying out playground duty from 20 weeks, maintaining strict social distancing, not handling first aid but calling for other colleagues, and that I will be working from home as of 28 weeks. Hope that helps x

other89 Sat 12-Sep-20 11:37:40

I’ve been told that from 28 weeks I’ll be working from home as that’s what our council have put in place. They are arranging cover for me from that date. I didn’t have a choice to stay working

HopeWish Sat 12-Sep-20 12:58:20

I am hoping to have my risk assessment in the next couple of weeks. A little peeved as I informed my school of my pregnancy (in writing) back in June, but none of the pregnant staff have had risk assessments mentioned to them, crazy in this climate!

I have booked a meeting with the head and will bring it up then, so it's good to see what people on here have already been told. I don't think my school will be telling me to stay home from 28 weeks though, with the way they don't even seem bothered about doing risk assessments for pregnant staff at the moment.

The thing that worries me is that we have already had a confirmed Covid case in a pupil (within less than a week of being open). The school has told some pupils to self-isolate but has not told any staff who would have been in contact with the pupil, nor have they disclosed who the pupil is to staff so that they can self-isolate if they know there was contact.

I am quite worried that my school isn't taking this seriously and I've been told this week I have hypertension, which the RCOG says makes me more at risk of complications should I get Covid.

Anybody got any suggestions with how to approach the risk assessment conversation?

penguin423 Sat 12-Sep-20 18:49:03

@HopeWish that is so disappointing and frustrating. I am lucky in that our management team are very supportive and the risk assessment had to be done before the pupils were back. Would you be able to email them and remind them? Maybe the midwife could give you back up if they don't do it as a risk assessment is supposed to happen regardless of Covid. It is written in our council's policy so worth checking to see if yours is the same and quote it.

It must be very worrying having to work without feeling supported in that respect, I feel for you.

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