Call to help teachers suffering with long Covid

‘High incidence’ of long Covid among teachers ‘deeply alarming’, says union calling for it to be seen as ‘a disability’
14th June 2021, 11:28am

Share

Call to help teachers suffering with long Covid

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/call-help-teachers-suffering-long-covid
Coronavirus & Schools: Call To Support Teachers Suffering With Long Covid

The NASUWT teaching union has launched a campaign for long Covid to be legally recognised as a disability under the Equality Act of 2010.

The union says more than 1 million people in the UK are now living with long Covid, with teachers and education support staff the second most likely profession to be affected, only just behind healthcare workers.

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “Teachers have stepped up to the front line of this pandemic and have put their health at risk to educate our children and young people. It is deeply alarming that the ONS [Office for National Statistics] has since identified a high incidence of long Covid within the profession.


CoronavirusTeachers at ‘higher’ risk of catching Covid

Data: Teacher Covid death data ‘only half the picture’

Long Covid: what teachers and pupils need to know


“With the serious risk of emerging variants, more teachers could still be vulnerable to developing this condition and find themselves unable to work, at threat of financial hardship and without sufficient legal protections.”

Teachers impacted by long Covid

The debilitating condition includes lasting organ damage, impairment of mental processing, and extreme fatigue and shortness of breath, leading to exhaustion after even minor activity.

Launching the campaign at the NASUWT’s Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference, the union has also called for reasonable adjustments, flexible working and financial compensation for teachers left unable to teach as a result of contracting Covid at work.

Such compensation already exists for healthcare workers whose careers have been prematurely ended by long Covid.

Dr Roach added: “No teacher experiencing long Covid should be forced to live in this fear.

“The government needs to consider regulations that ensure access to ill-health retirement provision for those with long Covid.

“Ministers must, as a matter of urgency, provide financial compensation for all teachers, including supply teachers, where their careers have been impacted due to Covid-19.

“The NASUWT recognises the life-changing severity of long Covid and it is time the legislation did, too.”

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

This is 0 of 1

Now only £1 a month for 3 months

Subscribe for just £1 per month for the next 3 months to get unlimited access to all Tes magazine content. Or register to get 2 articles free per month.

Already registered? Log in

This is 0 of 1

Now only £1 a month for 3 months

Subscribe for just £1 per month for the next 3 months to get unlimited access to all Tes magazine content.

topics in this article