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Teachers currently shielding

(14 Posts)
Shieldingending Mon 06-Jul-20 22:27:21

What is your school doing about teachers who are currently shielding returning to work in September? I have had a double transplant and am on immunosuppressant drugs. My consultant is adamant that I should not return to work as a teacher in a special school because this is not a safe environment. Govt guidelines tell me to work from home unless my workplace is covid secure which it not, and cannot be. It will be impossible for me to socially distance from my team of 5 TA's never mind the children. I have had a discussion with the head whose opinion is that shielding is ending so I have to be back. I love my job and need to be back for my mental health but really I think a special schools is one of the least covid secure places there is! We are specifically told not to wear PPE in schools, and to be honest if I wore a mask it would be ripped off my face by one of the children anyway. No easy answers here I know but I wondered what other schools are doing?

OP’s posts: |
minisoksmakehardwork Tue 07-Jul-20 17:17:10

I would imagine your best bet is to get signed off by your gp.

Shieldingending Tue 07-Jul-20 18:29:10

Thank you for your reply. I think it’s the only option but I really didn’t want this. I love my job so much but my health has to come first. At the moment I am trying to find out if I could provide a bespoke curriculum for some of our highly vulnerable children (ie 02 dependent tracheostomy / ventilated to enable both them and me to work safely from home!

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minisoksmakehardwork Wed 08-Jul-20 05:40:56

That would be a lovely plan which keeps both you and they in the loop of education. I do hope your head sees sense in your case, because if they would ignore medical advice (as opposed to listening to government guidance), I would worry what other risks they would take with you and with their vulnerable pupils. In your situation common sense should prevail.

SleepymummyZzz Wed 08-Jul-20 06:24:52

The extremely clinically vulnerable in my school (there are two of us) are expected back in September. The clinically vulnerable were back when the school opened to other years at the beginning of July. I will be in Reception 😱

MaryBerrysBomberJacket Wed 08-Jul-20 09:34:02

I have a friend and colleague in a similar position and they have resigned. They have thrown themselves into online tutoring for GCSE and A Level to make up for the loss of their (part time) income, so they should be OK, but I know that is something that wouldn't be appropriate in your case. It is a horrible position to be in though; I am worried for my own vulnerable children and parents when I am back full time.

echt Wed 08-Jul-20 10:05:49

My contribution is not entirely helpful but in Australia, and for once I do mean the whole country, the designations about vulnerability and working from home are dependent of the person's condition, not the provisions (or not) of the workplace.

This means employers don't get to decide on the, ahem, safety of the workplace. This is the crucial difference, and I do wish my UK colleagues were so protected. Obvs they can change the parameters, but no sign yet. Not with COVID shit hitting the fan in Victoria.

My best wishes to all my UK colleagues.


Shieldingending Fri 10-Jul-20 21:35:29

Thank you all for your replies, sadly I have been told today that I have to go back into school. Really unsure what to do as getting signed off doesn't sit well with me and I want to be at work. I'll reevaluate in August when I see what infection rates look like

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ElizabethMainwaring Sat 11-Jul-20 03:56:45

What a terrible time this is.
I'm having yet another sleepless night worrying about September.
My husband is extremely clinically vulnerable.
Like you, I just think all we can do is wait.
I don't think that my mental health can cope with going back.
I do wonder how many are in similar situations. I think that schools might be surprised how many people resign over the next few weeks.

WelshMoth Sat 11-Jul-20 08:47:55

I think you have a tough decision to make OP.

In my school (city comprehensive, 1200 pupils and a specialist unit onsite), the staff that have so far tested positive for antibodies are in the unit. 6 of them so far.

There are probably more to come in mainstream but I know that our unit took a bit of a battering.

Letseatgrandma Sat 11-Jul-20 09:31:40

If your consultant is adamant you shouldn’t be returning to this environment, they should be signing you off, really. I guess it’s that or resigning.

Atomsaway Sun 12-Jul-20 00:59:47

Hello op,
It’s awful situation to be in isn’t it?
I have had no communication from my school so I’m assuming I will be in from September. It’s a scary thought. One minute we’re being told don’t even put your bins out and the next it’s back to normal, circulating amongst hundreds of people!
Wearing a mask is pretty pointless for protection purposes and as an asthmatic, there is some advice around which says not to wear one anyway.
I think, in your situation, the only option is to be signed off by your consultant.

Shieldingending Sun 12-Jul-20 07:08:34

Thank you all for your replies, good luck to others facing the same dilemma

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MrsZola Sun 12-Jul-20 17:49:22

My DH is shielding - I'll be expected back in September in Reception. We're a federation and the exec head wants staff meetings to be federation in one place! There's no way I'm going to another school and sitting in a hall with about 45 other adults after a day in Year R. Exec head also wants year groups across the federation to plan together every week 🙄. Happy to do meetings/planning on Teams, but not in person.

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