Thursday, 4 June 2020

Brent NEU set out criteria for wider re-opening of schools in context of the number of local Covid19 cases, test results delay and BAME vulnerability

Following a meeting of Brent National Education Union yesterday, the union has written to headteachers summarising the membership's position on wider school  opening. It has set out what it wishes to see in place in risk assessments in order for members to support wider re-opening.  If they are not in place they do not think it will be safe to return.

The NEU says that its position is based on their evidence from members' meetings and advisers that it is typically taking 2-3 weeks to get Covid19 tests results. The NEU state that there are still over 1400 live cases in Brent and a huge proportion of the school workforce and families are from BAME backgrounds and have suffered the loss of loved ones close to them over the last few months as a result.

  • We request that all schools push back wider reopening to at least 15th June
  • We request to see in the whole school risk assessment a statement that if one person develops symptoms, they are isolated then sent home. ALL their "bubble" goes home at the end of the day and does not return for 14 days UNLESS there is a negative test result. IF there is a positive test result the whole building is closed while there is a deep clean.
  • We request to see in the risk assessment a statement that all staff in vulnerable categories and living with people in vulnerable categories, as well as people with BME backgrounds, are allowed to opt to continue to work from home until this is reviewed. In addition we request individual risk assessments, where staff would like them, for males over 55 and for staff that have no option but to use public transport
  • We request the school to allow staff to use PPE in all situations where social distancing is not possible, and train staff in the correct use of this, and provide sufficient PPE for this
  • We request to see in the risk assessment an agreement to have at least weekly reviews of the risk assessment with union reps. If there is no rep we would like to be invited to recruit one in your school

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