Calls for teachers to work from home until pupil return

Teachers should stay out of school buildings until all pupils are back, union tells education secretary in 'urgent' letter
30th December 2020, 12:47pm
Henry Hepburn

Share

Calls for teachers to work from home until pupil return

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/calls-teachers-work-home-until-pupil-return
Calls For Teachers To Work From Home Until Pupil Return

Teachers should not be working in school buildings until pupils are also back, a teaching union has told the education secretary. 

In a letter sent to John Swinney today, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA) says: "As a matter of urgency, I feel you need to instruct schools and local authorities to follow public health advice and insist that secondary school staff work from home in the period up to the return of pupils in schools."

First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced earlier this month that most pupils would not return to school buildings until Monday 18 January at the earliest, but that teachers would still return as planned from Tuesday 5 January or later that week, with some pupils - such as children of key workers - also attending.


Background: Fears over school safety as Covid surges

In England: New school opening delay agreed by ministers

Opinion: 'Teachers should stand tall as they prepare for 2021'

A year like no other: Who is the Tes Scotland person of the year for 2020?


In the SSTA letter, general secretary Seamus Searson writes: "Many local authorities have instructed all secondary school staff to report to their schools on the first day of term and this is causing teachers unnecessary stress and worry, as the new Covid-19 variant is developing. I am at a loss to understand how those that manage schools can ignore public health advice and make such a decision during the pandemic, especially when there will be so few pupils in school."

SSTA has written to @JohnSwinney regarding the safety of teachers amid the insistence that all staff return to school next week despite public health advice #COVID19 #TeacherSafety #FollowTheAdvice #SafetyFirst pic.twitter.com/2UKeaF0pgP

- SSTA (@SSTAtradeunion) December 30, 2020

Mr Searson says that only a "limited number of staff" should be in schools from next week. He adds that staff should be asked to volunteer to come in and that none who have to travel long distances or use public transport should have to be in school; teachers with underlying health conditions or who are in a vulnerable group should only be required to work remotely.

He asks Mr Swinney - who is also deputy first minister - to "act quickly and relieve this unnecessary pressure on secondary teachers at this time and allow them to focus on teaching and learning safely".

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Register for free to read more

You can read two more articles on Tes for free this month if you register using the button below.

Alternatively, you can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters

Already registered? Log in

You’ve reached your limit of free articles this month

Subscribe to read more

You can subscribe for just £1 per month for the next three months and get:

  • Unlimited access to all Tes magazine content
  • Exclusive subscriber-only articles 
  • Email newsletters