Coronavirus: Special schools could 'draft in' teachers

Teachers from other settings might need to be brought in to keep residential special schools open, says DfE

Catherine Lough

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The government has suggested teachers should be "drafted in' from other schools to keep special schools open during the coronavirus pandemic.

In updated guidance for residential schools published today, the government said that in order to maintain safe staff ratios in special schools and colleges it might be necessary to bring in teachers from other schools.

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"It is important to maintain safe staff ratios, particularly for those pupils or students whose needs mean they are safer remaining in the setting than returning home," the guidance said. "If necessary, the setting should work with the local authority to draft in staff from other settings rather than close.

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"This could include deploying staff from mainstream schools and colleges, or other special schools and colleges that are not remaining open. Staffing should be prioritised towards the most vulnerable pupils and students, particularly those in residential provision."

The guidance also said that safe social distancing measures in residential settings would depend on the layout of each school.

For example, in residential settings spread over several buildings, "you may wish to treat these as separate households", the guidance said.

Staff who were non-resident or partially resident would "need to apply careful infection control", the guidance 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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