Teachers challenge Ofsted on school Covid ‘myths’ claim

NEU to write to chief inspector Amanda Spielman over her comments suggesting schools are acting on Covid safety 'myths'
9th November 2020, 4:21pm

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Teachers challenge Ofsted on school Covid ‘myths’ claim

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/teachers-challenge-ofsted-school-covid-myths-claim
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Teachers' leaders are planning to write to Ofsted to challenge the idea that schools are misinterpreting government guidance on coronavirus safety rules.

On Friday last week, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman used a speech to warn about "myths" she said were circulating about school coronavirus safety requirements on issues such as singing and the need for open doors. 

She also said schools were too willing to send pupils home.


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"There are myths doing the rounds about what schools 'have' to do, or must not do, such as no singing or swimming and keeping all doors open, no matter the weather," Ms Spielman said.

But her comments have provoked outrage from teachers on social media, who responded with links to government guidance and pointed out that school risk assessments require them to keep doors open.

Now, the NEU teaching union says it will be contacting Ofsted over the matter. 

Bizarre that Amanda Spielman should say this when I am regularly contacted by @NEUnion reps asking how to balance the requirement to keep doors and windows open for ventilation, as specified on their RA, with increasingly cold weather. https://t.co/D6Yt0Ag05v

- Gawain Little (@GawainLittle) November 7, 2020

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said that a "letter was due" in response to the comments.

Yes. I feel a letter is due.

- Dr Mary Bousted (@MaryBoustedNEU) November 7, 2020

Teachers have commented online that the comments seem to criticise headteachers and staff under pressure to keep pupils safe during a pandemic.

Others have pointed out that measures described as "myths" are in fact part of government guidance for schools.

A minor point in grim little interview is that she calls things a "myth" that aren't. Here's the singing guidance. https://t.co/b0dQgvX6Yk pic.twitter.com/xlLQlxnsTE

- Mr. D (@123_Mr_D) November 6, 2020

Ofsted has said it will only comment on concerns once it has received the letter from the NEU.

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