TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

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jooles
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Dorset

TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by jooles »

Hello to all those who work in Schools ...

I have a meeting scheduled with my HR Manager tomorrow to discuss my risk assessment and am seeking advice and views of those in a similar position.

I teach a core subject in a large comprehensive secondary school that is currently planning for a full return of all 1,200 students in September. It has been decided that the Year Groups will form 'bubbles' and will be allocated separate parts of the school. Teachers will travel between the bubbles to teach the full cohort. I have been teaching from home whilst shielding and have received many emails indicating that they expect me to return in September (i.e timetables, new tutor group list etc). So far, I have contacted my renal consultant, Dfe and NEU publications but find no definitive answer to whether I should return or not. My Consultant says that the current advice is that the CEV group 'can return to work IF unable to work remotely AND employers can provide a COVID safe environment.' My logic tells me that somewhere is only COVID safe is dat shows that it is so and that the school needs a period too time to demonstrate that the measures it puts in place are in fact shown to have worked. Having not left my house other than a few walks since the end of February I am loathed to go back to a full school where students have simply been told to keep two metres from staff and nothing has been tried or tested. However, I am keen to know how others have approached this with their schools; whether they have had Union support or whether they have sought guidance elsewhere?

Any help would be much appreciated! Please feel free to PM me!
Many thanks and stay safe!
Jooles
FSGS
Born 1966
APD Sept 2103 - March 2015
DCD Transplant QA Portsmouth 19th March 2015
wagolynn
Posts: 1322
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by wagolynn »

Hi Jooles,
I can understand your dilemma, a very difficult choice.

The questions that come to mind are :-

Do you think you are teaching effectively from home? - If so have you asked your employer if you can continue to do so, only going to the school for staff meetings etc.

Teaching with a mask on may be viable, and keeping two meters away from students but I think that will be very different to normal, as facial expressions will be missing which will be OK if you can remember that is the case.

Will the students have their temperature checked before entry each day? - If this is the case then the risk will be considerably decreased, after all you have been at risk of picking up colds/flue, and any other viruses. from students before Corvid 19 came on the scene.

Hope this helps a little.
jooles
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by jooles »

Thanks for reply. I remember you from a few year’s back and hope you are well.
Do you also teach? There will not be temperature checks or masks. Students to be taught in year group bubbles of over 100. Teachers to visit up to five bubbles a day. Students told to stay 2 metres from staff ... but they are teenagers! Whilst I have been exposed to their viruses like you say, I have the flu vac and none of others have had the threat to cause me such harm ( I did catch shingles last year). What worries me is all the people they mix with at the end of the day and at weekends before they come back in the classroom. It’s also a worry that the a school’s procedures have not been tried and tested and therefore cannot be classed as ‘safe’. I Can’t quite believe that after 5 months of shielding no-one will give me direct advice and that I’m now expected to return to such a largely populated environment with 32 different students in front of me every hour. First day of the holiday and I’m feeling extremely stressed .... anyone else in the same boat? X
FSGS
Born 1966
APD Sept 2103 - March 2015
DCD Transplant QA Portsmouth 19th March 2015
wagolynn
Posts: 1322
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by wagolynn »

Hi Jooles,
No, I am not a teacher.

I doubt anyone official will give you an answer, because which ever way you look at it is a risk to you, and no one will want to say that.

What is the heads attitude, are they trying to help or again are they stuck because of the risk factor?

I think, I would explore the consequences of telling them you are not prepared to take this risk.

Checking students temperature each morning would be a big help, do they have a valid reason for not doing this?
jooles
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by jooles »

Thanks for reply Wagolynn.
It is a nightmare trawling through so many documents. I think I need to be provided with a risk assessment first and am hoping to speak to my GP to find out what should be included as additional measures. I have a further meeting scheduled mid-August with Headteacher which is leaving it all rather late and means I will worry throughout my holiday. Ho-hum.
I hope you are keeping well.
Jooles
wagolynn
Posts: 1322
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by wagolynn »

Hi Jooles,
Try not to spend too much time worrying, it doesn't change anything.

Have a nice holiday.

Best wishes.
jooles
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by jooles »

Too true ... x
FSGS
Born 1966
APD Sept 2103 - March 2015
DCD Transplant QA Portsmouth 19th March 2015
Humbert
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:18 pm

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by Humbert »

Hi Jooles,

I'm a teacher and have the same concerns as you... I'm currently talking to the NEU about return to work, their advice is that anyone in the CEV category should not return to work in school but work from home as it is not a Covid safe environment in schools at the moment (or in September).
Have you spoken directly to the NEU? I phoned the local contact number and they have been brilliant at getting back to me and offering support while I discuss it with my school.
jooles
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:11 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by jooles »

Hi Humbert
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Yes, I had advice (via email) from NEU - who told me the same thing and attached their recent publication on wider opening in September. I used this as the basis for discussion with my HR; notes were taken and passed to the Head. Further discussion took place (on the last day of term via Teams) and the talk was of a 'phased return', teaching only Year 9 (still classes of 32!) until I felt 'comfortable'. I tried to get the point across about 'safety' and 'risk' rather than 'comfort' - it was agreed to meet again late August.

However, I have felt extremely anxious; waking up in the night with sickness etc etc and couldn't fact the prospect of feeling this way all the way through the holidays and phoned my GP.

I was issued with a 'Fit Note' immediately (apparently many teachers are having to go down this route). It states that I am fit for work but should have no direct contact with students and that I am available for amended tasks such as admin work IF adequate safeguarding procedures can be fully implemented - otherwise home working if any concerns (which there will be). I have emailed my school but had no response and will go back to the union if need be. Basically the Fit Note states exactly what is in the NEU September Guidance and the Gov guidelines!

Let me know how you get on and I hope you enjoy the break. (After hours and hours of Online lessons and ensuing admin, it's a relief!)

Best wishes
Jooles
FSGS
Born 1966
APD Sept 2103 - March 2015
DCD Transplant QA Portsmouth 19th March 2015
wagolynn
Posts: 1322
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by wagolynn »

Hi jooles,
I am pleased to see you have had some contact with another teacher with the same problem.
Looks as though you are making progress, of sorts but the HR dept. appear to be particularly stupid but then they usually are.
Looks as though the union is with you on this, I hope that is some comfort.

Best wishes.
Skm
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:13 am

Re: TEACHING STAFF RETURN TO WORK

Post by Skm »

Jooles,

Just wondered what happened. Did you have to go back into work?
Such a difficult situation. I felt for you.

Sue
Transplant May 2015
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