Schools & Academies in England, Member Update – 31st March 2021

Download as PDF

Dear Member

We hope this finds you well as the Easter school holiday approaches.

The DfE has now published updated guidance for schools and GMB London thought it was important to share with you significant changes that may affect your role.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

When the Government initially announced shielding for those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable was ending on 31st March, it was thought this would mean a return to the workplace for those members.  It is therefore positive to see the position taken by DfE. Shielding ends on 31st March and  from 1 April, CEV individuals are no longer advised to shield but must continue to follow the rules in place for everyone under the current national restrictions. The DfE guidance states “Staff in schools who are CEV will be advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if they cannot work from home should attend their workplace.” If you are CEV and have been working from home then you should be allowed to continue to do so and a template letter requesting to stay working from home, you may wish to use, can be found here.

Staff who are clinically vulnerable (CV)

The guidance states CV staff can continue to attend school. While in school they must follow the system of controls to minimise the risks of transmission. Members who live with those who are CV can attend the workplace but should ensure they maintain good prevention practice in the workplace and at home.

Wraparound provision and extra-curricular activity

When schools fully reopened on 8th March, a criteria was put in place to determine the children who could access before and after-school educational activities and wraparound childcare for your pupils.  From 29 March, all parents will also be able to access provision for one of these additional purposes:

  • where the provision is taking place outdoors - all children may access outdoor provision regardless of circumstances
  • their children are eligible for free school meals and are attending provision as part of the holiday activities and food programme

Schools are advised to work closely with any external wraparound providers pupils may use to minimise mixing between children. This can be achieved by taking steps such as trying to keep children in the same school day bubble or school together, or in consistent groups.

If the provision is taking place indoors and it is not possible to group children in the same bubble as they are in during the school day, providers should try to keep them in consistent groups of no more than 15 children and at least one staff member.

From 29 March, when all outdoor sports and supervised activities for children will be able to open without restrictions on attendance, activities taking place outdoors can happen in groups of any number. This is because the transmission risk is lower outside.

As always, it is important you see the risk assessment and understand the control measures in place to minimise risk to you. If you have any questions or need help or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us. Advice and guidance previously issued by GMB London is available on the GMB London website

Please look out for next weeks email as it will contain important information about school restructures and the pay claim for 2021/22.

Take care and stay safe

With kind regards,

Lisa Bangs, GMB London Region Organiser — Schools and Academies

Keith Williams, GMB London Region Senior Organiser