This advice applies to all primary schools, special schools, SEND and early years settings in England.
In UNISON’s view, it is unsafe for you to attend the workplace at present if your school is fully opened to all pupils.
Our advice is that you should decide to advise your head teacher or employer that you will not be attending the workplace but will be available to work remotely from home or only being in school supporting provision and the learning of key worker and vulnerable children if necessary.
Here is a letter for to send to your head teacher or employer:
When sending this letter, you will also be asserting your legal right to be protected against any detrimental action by your employer, including to your pay. This right is explained in full in the model letter.
Our advice applies for at least the first two weeks of term, the same period for which secondary schools and some primary schools have already been instructed by the government to move to remote learning.
UNISON is issuing this advice after careful consideration of the advice which was apparently given to the government by the SAGE advisory group and the current position on infection rates.
Rea more at January schools advice | UNISON National
UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “The Government must act decisively now by delaying the start of term for all schools by two weeks because of spiralling infection rates. Education should move online except for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
“UNISON has been calling for this ‘circuit-break’ since well before Christmas. Ministers have had weeks to get this right instead of leaving parents, staff and whole communities confused.
“The union is clear that members who work in schools have a right to a safe working environment. They shouldn‘t have to work where they face serious and imminent danger.
“Ministers must also ensure any extension of the vaccine priority list covers all school staff and not just teachers.”
Petition to make schools safe and protect communities
Along with the teachers’ union, the NEU, we have launched a public petition calling on the government to use this period of remote learning to establish how quickly the new variant of the virus is transmitted, and to establish measures to keep schools more “COVID secure”.