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NASUWT advice re school closures etc

(108 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 13-Mar-20 17:12:10

Some much welcome and comprehensive advice from the NASUWT

Including advice for vulnerable staff members who may need to stay off work, pay around self-isolation and so on.

Importantly - if the schools close, teachers should not be required to go in, especially not to ‘help with deep cleaning’ (as suggested on another thread hmm ), potential issues around safeguarding and recording of online sessions etc.

And “There should be no attempt made to split or double up classes or increase class sizes to accommodate teacher absence. If this is proposed in your school then contact should immediately be made with the NASUWT for advice.”

OP’s posts: |
CarrieBlue Fri 13-Mar-20 17:54:05

It’s been much more reassuring than the (none) information from school - glad I’ve paid my union fees!

annie987 Fri 13-Mar-20 22:17:30

I’ll be doing anything I can to support the school to get through this unprecedented crisis. I’m pleased to say there is somewhat of a ‘blitz spirit’ at our school - everyone is keen to muck in and do their bit to enable the children to learn for as long as possible and in any way possible.

annie987 Fri 13-Mar-20 22:20:14

Without risking vulnerable staff members of course.

echt Sat 14-Mar-20 02:57:48

Without risking vulnerable staff members of course

How would that work? Who would be the the "invulnerable" staff who would, implicitly, need to be protected over and above the needs of other staff?

This is a genuine question as I have seen such distinctions drawn elsewhere.

Jazzycat84 Sat 14-Mar-20 03:24:13

@echt the vulnerable staff would be those who are immunocompromised or elderly.
They are estimating 80% are going to get it anyway.

echt Sat 14-Mar-20 04:48:15

Thanks, Jazzycat34.

My particular situation in Australia is about whole-school shutdown

Distinctions I have seen drawn have been those who have school-age children who might be at home so their parents can't be expected to be online as other staff might.

I'm surprised that the elderly are generally employed in schools, as in western societies this is 75+ though the lines night have been re-drawn in the light of coronavirus. I except maths teachers who are so valued they are in work, er...for ever.grin

Piggywaspushed Sat 14-Mar-20 07:02:23

The mortality rate begins to climb at 50. Many teachers are in their 50s.

I am not very happy about the NASUWT advice on vulnerable staff, as it is so vague but the rest seems fine.

I have no confidence the union repos in many schools will read it, or confront their heads with it over issues like cleaning.

Anyone know what NEU advice is, if any?

Piggywaspushed Sat 14-Mar-20 07:02:37

Ermm. reps.

phlebasconsidered Sat 14-Mar-20 08:05:27

The majority of staff in my school are bright young nqt's with no kids who were merrily suggesting continuing to come into work as "only old people are at risk". Yes, that would be me - the rare teacher still doing it after 20 years plus and one of only 3 others with kids. So no, bright young things - I won't be coming in even if we close to do suggested things like reorganise the ict suite or library.
I do think union advice needs to be beefed up. Older staff are twice vulnerable. Once because of the virus and twice because they cost too much and the trust could get 2 or 3 nqt for the same price......

fedup21 Sat 14-Mar-20 08:10:06

There should be no attempt made to split or double up classes or increase class sizes to accommodate teacher absence. If this is proposed in your school then contact should immediately be made with the NASUWT for advice.”

Though the government has been dropping heavy hints their next set of measures will include relaxing class size caps so teachers can cover large classes to avoid schools being shut.

If they change the law to ‘help’ the crisis, is there anything the unions can do?

CarrieBlue Sat 14-Mar-20 08:21:48

‘The unions’ can only do what their members will support - so if you don’t want larger class sizes you have to be prepared to refuse to teach them. The union is the membership.

NeurotrashWarrior Sat 14-Mar-20 08:26:57

Thanks noble, really reassuring.

TackyTriceratops Sat 14-Mar-20 08:32:25

My school was actually unbelievably supportive and has spoken to all those with underlying health conditions which could mean worse effects of the virus; asthma diabetes etc.

Basically reassuring them that they know the rules may change for those people before school closures and they're following advice from who ever is doing that in the LEA. Think BoJo mentioned that rules may change regarding those with underlying conditions somewhere in the speech on Thursday.

TackyTriceratops Sat 14-Mar-20 08:32:46

I wouldn't be surprised if Union advice is issues regarding that.

Everytimeref Sat 14-Mar-20 08:38:29

I am really concerned that if my school is forced to close some students will go hungry. They rely on the free breakfast and lunch. Their parents work mainly in zero hour contracts or self employed so won't be "WFH" It's unlikely the parents will be supervising them so they will be left to wander the streets.

Icare1234 Sat 14-Mar-20 08:47:00

I’m not a teacher, I was a solicitor years ago. In terms of law the government can invoke emergency powers to change almost any law without going through parliament under the civil contingencies act 2004.
Enforcement would be more difficult as formal procedures only relate to local authorities/emergency services.

Of course parents may keep children at home any way.

This might also be swayed by public pressure.
There may be support if teachers say that schools should close completely or large classes are ineffective or physically unsafe (not due to virus). Can you really imagine much sympathy for teachers refusing to teach large classes/do online classes unless they have underlying issues that mean they are in a high risk group? (Don’t think that applies to the cleaning as not part of job)

ValancyRedfern Sat 14-Mar-20 09:38:31

Same everytimeref

phlebasconsidered Sat 14-Mar-20 10:28:14

Icare if teachers are "teaching" classes of 50, it isn't teaching. It's crowd control. No actual teaching will occur.

I can support and teach more effectively remotely amd via email than I can coralling 50 kids into shutting up when they know they're just there to keep the schools open.

Teachers never get public sympathy anyway. If we do stay in and teach we'll get moaned at for not doing it properly / hygienically / to exam standards and if we don't it'll be our fault the economy collapses / people can't use us as childcare.

As concerned as I am about the kids in my class and the perhaps wasted efforts we have made for sats, I'm also high risk myself, mother to a high risk child, wife to a very high risk husband, and care for a very high risk mother. Which should I prioritise? Keep my class open for the one hcp parent in my class or keep a possible 4 patients out of hospital? I don't much care if I don't have public sympathy - i'd rather have my family.

Minesabecks Sat 14-Mar-20 10:33:01

I'm not going on holiday, I'm missing a birthday party for a close friend, avoiding cinema and pubs - but 50 children in a room 6 times a day - fine and dandy.

zombieapocalypseisnigh Sat 14-Mar-20 10:36:30

I'm in my early 50s and have three school aged children at home. My DH is a bit older and hasn't been 100% for a while, so if he gets ill, he will probably struggle.. I will not be jeopardising my health at school for other people's children, either by 'babysitting' over sized classes are becoming a cleaner. Sorry, but no. I need to look after my own.

fedup21 Sat 14-Mar-20 10:41:58

Teachers never get public sympathy anyway. If we do stay in and teach we'll get moaned at for not doing it properly / hygienically / to exam standards and if we don't it'll be our fault the economy collapses / people can't use us as childcare

Exactly. I can’t imagine that the following would stop...

Parents screaming at me about their child’s lost cardigan/water bottle/PE kit. This would probably massively increase if children were in an unfamiliar classroom with an unfamiliar routine and teacher.

Parents complaining about other things, eg

I didn’t manage to get all 50 children to wash their hands 3 times a day with my one sink and depleted soap supply, or,

I didn’t have time to sort out a playground dispute or

Max has been on yellow books for 3 weeks and you haven’t moved him up, or

Charlie doesn’t get to sit next to Billy any more in maths because there are now an additional 20 children in the room.

Charlie and Billy are being mean to Millie because she has a cough and coughed on their snack.

The after school and breakfast clubs have been cancelled but parents need to work,

I’m sure there are a million other things that some parents would moan about.

What if there was an accident in the classroom due to too many children being there? Would I be liable? I would certainly be blamed.

Plus add things like lesson observations, assessment data, learning objectives, PMR, Ofsted and book scrutinies-because I bet those wouldn’t disappear.

I would rather schools closed than I become a childminder of 50 and open myself up to all sorts of accusations.

noblegiraffe Sat 14-Mar-20 10:47:56


Have you seen the row on twitter? Ofsted said they plan to keep inspecting as normal, head teachers all went wtf this is not remotely normal give us a break, then Ofsted said the guidelines allowed for inspections to potentially be deferred in the event of the death of a headteacher and it’s all kicked off.

Ofsted still inspecting is ridiculous.

OP’s posts: |
Piggywaspushed Sat 14-Mar-20 10:52:40

Yes, I did. I was wryly amused by the fact that heads only kick off when it is mentioned a headteacher might die.

Piggywaspushed Sat 14-Mar-20 10:58:33

Just seen this on another thread

Schools: Kids generally won’t get very ill, so the govt can use them as a tool to infect others when you want to increase infection. When you need to slow infection, that tap can be turned off – at that point they close the schools. Politically risky for them to say this.

From a professor at Liverpool Uni.

Are we others?

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