2 in 3 teachers have colleagues with Covid symptoms

Union survey also reveals more than quarter of teachers do not feel safe in school during pandemic
11th November 2020, 10:07am

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2 in 3 teachers have colleagues with Covid symptoms

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/2-3-teachers-have-colleagues-covid-symptoms
A New Nasuwt Survey Shows Two Thirds Of Teachers Know A Colleague With Covid Symptoms.

Two-thirds of teachers in England have colleagues who have displayed symptoms of Covid-19 in their school or college, according to survey findings released today.

And a third of teachers are not confident about the way their school or college is dealing with suspected or actual cases, according to the findings published by the NASUWT teaching union.

A similar proportion did not feel safe in their school, the survey reveals.

The survey found that 66 per cent of teachers were aware of a colleague with Covid symptoms.


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Nearly half of the teachers responding (47 per cent) were confident about the way their school was dealing with actual or suspected Covid cases.

However, the survey also reveals a series of concerns about Covid safety in schools.

It found:

  • More than a quarter of teachers (27 per cent) say they feel unsafe at school.
  • The same proportion say there is not adequate ventilation in their classrooms and workspaces.
  • A third (32 per cent) of teachers say there is not adequate availability of PPE.
  • More than half (55 per cent) said their mental health was not recognised and supported by managers.
  • More than half (57 per cent) said their physical wellbeing was not recognised and supported by managers.

The union's general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: "Our survey paints a picture of schools and teachers and headteachers working flat-out to maintain a quality education for children and young people, despite the immense disruption caused by Covid-19.

"The reality is of more and more teachers being absent from work because of illness or because they need to self-isolate. This is putting enormous pressure on schools and their ability to remain open safely."

The responses also show how the education of tens of thousands of children is being disrupted by the pandemic, with almost six in 10 teachers (59 per cent) reporting that classes/year groups or bubbles had been sent home because of suspected or positive Covid-19 cases.

Half of teachers also said their school had split up bubbles to send home groups of pupils within those bubbles or classes.

The NASUWT said that the survey also "laid bare the reality of teachers and headteachers struggling to cope with significant additional workload pressures arising from the pandemic".

The majority of teachers said their current levels of stress and anxiety were high or very high (77 per cent). 

Four out of five teachers said they did not believe the government was providing the right support for their school during the pandemic.

And 82 per cent of teachers said workload had increased (45 per cent) or substantially increased (37 per cent) since this time last year.

Dr Roach added: "Dedicated and talented teachers are also reporting mental health problems and that continuing to work under immense pressure is leaving them stressed, exhausted and worn out.

"The government has not done enough to support teachers in meeting the challenges of providing education to children and young people in these unprecedented circumstances.

 "The government must listen to teachers' concerns and take urgent action to address teachers' concerns on workload and health and safety."  

The survey was carried out between 22 October and 2 November. There were 7,440 responses.

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