Barnet Trade Unions write to the Heads of all Barnet Schools about reopening safely.

The following email was sent to the Head of every Barnet School.


“Dear Head,

I hope that you are well and managing to cope under these extraordinary circumstances we all find ourselves in.

We, the Trade Union Leads, are writing to all Heads in response to the ongoing speculation as to when schools may be asked to open up again especially as a vaccine or cure is not likely to available in this calendar year and, therefore, it is likely that we will need to continue social distancing.

Our concerns are both for the children and the staff.

We want to ensure the schools are as safe as possible in terms of dealing with COVID 19.

Our members are very worried about schools re-opening before it is safe.  They have noted that the provision of PPE for NHS workers and Care workers has been a worrying and ongoing issue, being played out on national media on a daily basis. Whilst assurances have been made that supplies of PPE for the staff will be delivered day after day by senior members of the Government it is clear for all to see that this has not happened and it continues to be a serious issue for staff. Furthermore our members have watched with horror when news broke last week that PPE supplies were running out and that sadly Public Health England were revising their guidance down in response to supply rather than the level of risk to the workforce and patients.

It is with this back drop that we want to ensure that when schools open, the school is able to assure staff and parents that the workplace will be a safe place for all.

To this end we are asking all schools what measures they currently have in place in terms of the following:

  • Risk Assessment while open with just for keyworkers’ and vulnerable children
  • Risk Assessment when the school is re-opened
  • The daily cleaning regime.
  • PPE provision
  • Training in the use and disposal of PPE.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries or believe we may be able to support your school and staff during this national emergency.

Stay Safe


Barnet Trade Unions”


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UNISON calls for government to prioritise staff safety before re-opening schools

“Schools across the country are mostly closed, with pupils staying at home with families and carers. However, some schools remain partially open for children who have a social worker and are under safeguarding precautions, as well as children of key workers.

UNISON has, with other unions, issued a joint statement to the government warning against fully re-opening schools until staff safety is scientifically assured.

UNISON members have been essential in keeping schools open during the COVID-19 crisis, and are already concerned that, even with the small number of pupils currently in schools, it is impossible to maintain social distancing at all times.

UNISON National Secretary Jon Richards said: “We all know that schools will re-open at some stage, but that needs to be managed sensibly and not put people’s lives at risk.

“The government needs to be open with their plans and engage with UNISON and other unions early on to ensure that this isn’t mishandled.”

The statement co-signed by UNISON, Unite and GMB reads: “We call on the government to provide immediate reassurance to staff that any strategy for re-opening schools is discussed with relevant unions and other bodies at an early stage.

“Any proposals must be shared well in advance of any implementation, and re-opening schools should only happen once there is clear published scientific evidence that can command the confidence of the schools’ workforce that it is safe to do so.

“Suggestions in the media that the government in England is considering reopening schools has caused huge anxiety amongst school staff and parents”

The statement also includes demands for sufficient PPE, cleaning supplies and regular testing.”

Read full statement click on link below 

2020.04.16UNISON Joint-union-statement-on-re-opening-of-schools



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