The Government have announced plans to phase in a wider opening of primary schools from 1 June, starting with nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6.
The Government has further stated that it aims for all remaining primary children, plus year 10 and year 12 students to return to school for up to four weeks of the summer term.
The statement has caused a great deal of concern amongst GMB members about safety for pupils, staff, and their families.
There remain a large number of unanswered questions on issues such as provision of PPE, testing, social distancing and contact tracing.
What is the GMB doing?
GMB’s top priority is to challenge preparations being made for schools’ wider opening. GMB members need to feel satisfied that risks of exposure to Covid-19 can be carefully managed and controlled.
For these reasons your union the GMB is demanding that the government publish the evidence that has led to the decision-based on expanding the phased re-opening of schools.
GMB demands safe work systems are in place across schools before the wider reopening. Only then staff can get on with their job educating pupils without having to worry about safety.
GMB, along with the other education unions, has written to the Secretary of State for Education on Friday (8th May) and published a further statement on Wednesday (13th May), challenging the government’s plans and stating that June 1st is too soon.
How can you help?
Your school has been put in an intolerable position by the Government and we do not lay the blame at their door. Many schools have already announced that they will not be widening pupil numbers on June 1st because they don’t feel confident that it is yet safe to do so, and we applaud employers putting safety first.
Attached you will find a template letter for members to forward to your head teacher. The head teacher unions are aware why GMB are doing this and fully understand our reasons for doing so.
Please forward the letter to your head teacher and share your response with your regional representative.
If you don’t already have their contact details, you can find their website using this .gov.uk tool.
Posted: 18th May 2020