Schools & Academies in England, Member Update – 12th June 2020
Please download your latest schools bulletin (12 June) Here
We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.
Thank you so much to all of you who completed our regional survey. We had a great response and the feedback from you has identified some serious issues members are facing in schools and in the attached document there is advice on how you can tackle these.
Important information: This year the consultative ballot, on whether you wish to accept or reject the Local Government and Schools pay offer for 2020/21, will begin on Monday 22nd June and will be conducted electronically. To ensure all members have their say on their pay, it is important we have up to date personal email addresses for our members. If you have a colleague who is not receiving these updates because we do not have their email address, would you please ask them to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org so they can receive our updates and most importantly take part in the ballot. Thank you.
The Government has now issued Guidance on the reopening of Secondary Schools and this can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools . Unfortunately, this Guidance does not provide any real new information or clarity and our advice to members in Secondary schools remains make sure risk assessments are completed for you and your role and make sure you are aware of any new systems and protocols being introduced. If you do have any questions or concerns, contact your local branch, Regional Organiser or email email@example.com.
In our last update, we highlighted to you the significant potential safety issue, in relation to what happens when somebody within a school setting either becomes symptomatic, or tests positive for coronavirus. The DfE guidance states that if a pupil or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. If a test is taken, and it is positive then the rest of their class or group, including staff, are then sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. GMB is concerned by this as it means, members could find themselves having to continue working and attending school, even if they could be infected because someone has chosen not to take the test. GMB has received a positive response from Head Teachers and Academies when we have highlighted this flaw in the guidance and this has resulted in schools changing their procedure to if someone displays symptoms, all those who have been in contact with them go home straightway and return if there is a negative result rather than the way being proposed by DfE. If your school has still not changed its procedure, GMB would suggest you take this matter up with your school to ensure it is addressed and you are as safe as possible.
We hope you will find the attached bulletin useful in helping with issues you may be facing in your school. Being a member of GMB means you are not alone when facing difficulties and problems at work. Talk to your workplace Rep and colleagues and try to address issues collectively. Our strength comes from our numbers and together we can make a difference. If you know anyone who is not in a union, they can join online at https://www.gmb.org.uk/join-gmb
With best wishes,
Lisa Bangs, GMB London Region Organiser — Schools and Academies
Keith Williams, GMB London Region Senior Organiser
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