Nine unions, UNISON, AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, PROSPECT & UNITE have publicised a strongly worded statement saying that government ministers should step back from the 1st June target and put safety first. DfE guidance states that schools must consider the following when planning school transport services from September: The above applies to coaches and minibuses picking up the same pupils each day, as well as services which are used by different pupils on different days, including pupils with SEND. Statement passed at Tower Hamlets Unison Schools Meeting on 15 April All education workers are understandably angered and shocked by the government’s plans for a reckless wider reopening of schools on June 1. UNISON has concerns  that in schools with staff shortages or where school layout or social distancing means that there is a need for additional classes or bubbles, teaching assistants will be asked to lead full classes and cover full teaching duties. On the other hand for some children the routine of coming to school may be necessary to meet their needs or they may need access to therapies and resources that are only available at school. UNISON strongly believes that the DfE guidance is not sufficient and that full PPE must be available for anyone supervising someone with symptoms as staff cannot predict if they will need to get closer to pupils. There is additional advice published by the Department for Education on cleaning the environment, which includes toys and equipment. We use cookies on our website to ensure you find the information you need in the simplest way. Please read the detailed advice we have produced for vulnerable employees. "The impact on teachers and other workers in the schools and on parents [of catching the virus] is bad. UNISON Scotland will post updates on its website and Facebook page. UNISON is producing further guidance on the deployment of teaching assistants. Educational provision is maintained for children during this time away from the classroom e.g. A key sentence in the DfE guidance is: ‘…discuss and agree any proposed changes in role or responsibility with the member of staff.’ Schools should not impose new roles or duties on staff. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should work from home or stay at home on full pay where you cannot work from home. Their advice recommends that schools refer to safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings for more information about infection and PPE. One area where there is currently confusion is “face-coverings” vs “face masks”. Unison head of education Jon Richards said: "The Government must end its bitty, piecemeal approach and act decisively by delaying the start of term for all schools … We are calling for a review of the size of so called ‘bubbles’ and restricting further the number of children in these groups. Meanwhile parents in several Tier 4 areas were confused today as to why their children are being made to return to primary school - when those in London and the South East are shut until later this month due to high case rates. If you have any concerns, contact your local rep or your branch. This includes ensuring that safe ratios are met, and/or specific training undertaken, for any interventions or care for pupils with complex needs where specific training or specific ratios are required.”. The DfE guidance also states that any members of staff who have helped someone with symptoms, or pupils who have been in close contact with them, do not need to self-isolate unless: they develop symptoms themselves; if the symptomatic person subsequently tests positive; or if they have been requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace. “We don’t believe there will be enough cleaning staff to fulfil the mammoth task of keeping schools clean. However we are in dialogue with the Department for Education and await updated guidance on these settings, which we will respond to and update members as soon as possible. UNISON and the joint unions have produced a checklist which sets out what employers should demonstrate they have considered in establishing their arrangements for social distancing or minimising contacts and mixing. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that those care homes which offered full contractual sick pay to their staff carried lower risk of infection to their residents. Please raise this with your school. Joint union letter asking the Secretary of State for Education what scientific advice the DfE sought and received before making decisions about school attendance, Letter setting out schools’ H&S responsibilities and responding to Gavin Williamson’s claims about union advice, Joint union advice on medically vulnerable and higher risk groups for schools and colleges. 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