Update on the wider school re-opening situation.
This morning the local authority received updated guidance from Public Health (who provide advice to BHCC) that has led to them changing their advice from holding off on opening schools more widely, to giving the go-ahead to start doing so from Monday 15th June.
This swift change of position is – we are told – based upon reassurances from Public Health that they are now “reasonably confident” that the COVID-19 testing is up and running and with sufficient capacity to move forward.
Whilst this branch has little option but to accept the decision of the council we are not in agreement with it.
What This Means
As of Monday 15th June schools and council nurseries will be likely (although not obliged) to start to re-open to nursery, reception Years 1 and 6 pupils and also start to provide face to face support for young people in Year 10 and 12 this term.
This will involve some degree of support staff being required to return to work. However this should only take place safely and in accordance with a COVID-19 Risk Assessment.
Our Advice To You
· If you have not seen, do not have access to or do not fully understand the COVID-19 Risk Assessment for your school, let us know immediately.
· If you have seen the COVID-19 Risk Assessment for your school and you do not feel that it is either adequate, safe or otherwise realistic, let us know immediately.
· Any breaches of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment must be recorded by your school as a “near miss” situation in their Health and Safety record keeping. If there these are not being recorded or if these are serious or repeated breaches, again please let us know immediately.
· If you believe that you are at a higher level of risk due to health or other factors, or if you live or care for someone who is, you can request that a Personal Risk Assessment is carried out by you and your manager which should seek to further reduce that level of risk.
· Speak with your colleagues and raise concerns collectively where you can.
· Your safety and the safety of your colleagues, pupils and families is paramount. If you have concerns over safety that you feel are not being taken seriously please let us know immediately.
This is a very challenging time for everyone and managing the wider re-opening of schools safely and sustainably is going to be a huge challenge. Speak with your colleagues, speak to your union and wherever you can raise concerns collectively.
Please stay safe and look out for one another.
UNISON – Brighton & Hove Unitary – Brighton Town Hall – Tel: (01273) 291376 – firstname.lastname@example.org