Coronavirus: 'Halt callous redundancies,' schools told

Union head says the government must insist schools stand by their teaching workforces during a time of national crisis

Catherine Lough

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Teachers' leaders have called for an end to redundancy meetings during the coronavirus outbreak, saying that it "beggars belief" that such meetings are continuing during a time of national crisis.

Chris Keates, acting general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, called for any redundancy proceedings to end following reports from local NASUWT officers that some schools are continuing with redundancy meetings.

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“It beggars belief that at a time of a national crisis, when the future for everyone is so uncertain, that some schools are refusing to withdraw their plans to make teachers redundant and are insisting on ploughing ahead with redundancy meetings and hearings," Ms Keates said.

“Teachers, despite their deep and understandable anxieties about their own and their families’ wellbeing, are from today providing key frontline support for our NHS and other emergency services.

“What kind of employers, in the face of such an unprecedented situation, consider it acceptable or appropriate to add to this stressful situation by seeking to remove them from their jobs.

She added that prime minister Boris Johnson had urged employers to support their workforce during the coronavirus epidemic but that "some are callously choosing to ignore this and not giving a second thought to adding to the misery workers are already facing".

Ms Keates said the government needed to insist employers stood by their workforce, and that the NASUWT were pressing for all redundancy procedures in schools to be withdrawn.

The union would have "no hesitation" about publicly naming employers who did not comply with this, she said.

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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