Lockdown: Clinically vulnerable staff can attend school

But extremely vulnerable school staff will receive NHS advice to shield and should stay at home in the lockdown
7th January 2021, 3:57pm
Catherine Lough

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Lockdown: Clinically vulnerable staff can attend school

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/lockdown-clinically-vulnerable-staff-can-attend-school
Coronavirus School Closures: Clinically Vulnerable Staff Can Attend School, Says The Dfe

New safety guidance from the Department for Education says that clinically vulnerable teachers, including pregnant staff, can still work within schools during the new lockdown.

But those who are classified as "extremely" clinically vulnerable should work from home.

In the latest DfE guidance, it says that clinically vulnerable staff can attend school where working from home is not possible.


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It adds that, whilst in school, vulnerable staff should take "particular care to observe good hand and respiratory hygiene, minimising contact and maintaining social distancing".

"This provides that, ideally, adults should maintain two-metre distance from others, and where this is not possible avoid close face-to-face contact and minimise time spent within one metre of others," it says.

"People who live with those who are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable can attend the workplace but should ensure they maintain good prevention practice in the workplace and home settings," it adds.

Coronavirus: Pregnant school staff 'should work from home where possible'

For staff who are pregnant, they should work at home where possible.

If this is not possible, they should "take particular care to practise frequent, thorough hand-washing, and cleaning of frequently touched areas in their home or workspace, and follow the measures set out in the system of controls section of this guidance to minimise the risks of transmission", the guidance says.

School leaders should also check the workplace risk assessment if they are notified that a staff member is pregnant, breastfeeding or has given birth in the past six months, to see if any new risks have arisen.

"Following the reintroduction of shielding, clinically extremely vulnerable staff are advised that they should not attend the workplace," the guidance adds.

Earlier today, before the guidance was published, headteachers condemned the lack of new safety guidance for school staff in the light of a third lockdown as "outrageous".

James Bowen, the NAHT school leaders' union's director of policy, told Tes: "It is outrageous that schools are stuck with outdated guidance on something so important and vital to health and safety as this. 

"It is just another example of the confusion and chaos caused by last-minute government announcements and their utter failure to plan properly."

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