Only 1 in 3 teachers thinks Covid safety is adequate

More needs to be done to secure public confidence in school safety and to provide reassurance to teachers, says NASUWT
5th November 2020, 2:49pm

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Only 1 in 3 teachers thinks Covid safety is adequate

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Coronavirus: Only A Third Of Teachers Say School Safety Is Adequate, A Nasuwt Survey Shows

Just one-third of teachers (34 per cent) believe the measures to control the spread of the coronavirus in their school are adequate, according to a survey by the NASUWT teaching union.

The union warned today that some employers are "becoming complacent" in their approach to ensuring staff safety and are refusing to consult with the workforce or trade unions.

It says it is committed to taking appropriate action where employers fail to meet their legal obligations for the health and safety of staff, and it has today called on the government to ensure that all schools and colleges carry out fresh risk assessments in light of the increased Covid-19 threat level.


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NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach said: "Despite the latest government guidance, which makes clear that employers should now take steps to maximise control measures in place, the government now needs to confirm how it will ensure that employers take all the steps necessary to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Coronavirus: 'Outdated' school risk assessments

"The government must take tough action against those school and college employers that breach health and safety requirements or guidelines.

 "The publication of new advice by the government will not be enough to prevent the continued spread of the virus in primary, secondary and special schools or in colleges.

"Fewer than one in five education settings have been contacted as part of the Health and Safety Executive's spot checks and only 200 schools have been visited by the HSE since the start of September. This is simply not good enough.

"More needs to be done to secure public confidence and to provide reassurance to teachers and other staff who are working hard to support children's learning and wellbeing during the pandemic.

"Employers cannot continue to keep schools and colleges open on the basis of outdated risk assessments that were produced when Covid-19 transmission levels were significantly lower."

In the survey, 46 per cent of teachers said measures to control the spread of the coronavirus in their school were not adequate.

More than a quarter of teachers (27 per cent) said appropriate measures had not been put in place in their schools to ensure adequate ventilation in classrooms.

More than one in three teachers (36 per cent) reported that their schools had not updated or reviewed their Covid-19 risk assessments since the start of the autumn term. In addition, 38 per cent of teachers said that they had not been consulted on any revisions to their employer's risk assessments.

The NASUWT submitted freedom of information requests to employers on whether they had updated their risk assessments and carried out equality impact assessments, and said only a minority of employers had confirmed that they had done so.

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