The challenges education professionals face keeping schools and colleges as safe as possible
They are on the front line, keeping schools and colleges running and pupils engaged with learning.
But without enough support from Government, school and college leaders, teachers and support staff are becoming increasingly exhausted. The current situation in too many schools and colleges is becoming more challenging and unsustainable as the weeks pass and as more staff colleagues isolate.
The challenges of running a Covid-secure educational establishment are huge. Staff are working hard to implement new practices and procedures – staggered start and end times for school days, staggered lunch times, one-way circulation systems, managing pupil ‘bubbles’, overseeing the extra hygiene requirements and much more.
School and college leaders and staff are under enormous stress, keeping their schools open, their school community safe and responding to parents’ concerns about the safety and welfare of their children.
Teachers and support staff are working in new ways. Often, they are much more isolated than they were pre-Covid as they are unable to engage with their colleagues face-to-face. Many are required to travel around their school to work in different locations throughout the school day. They are teaching and supporting groups of pupils in a confined space, with little or no PPE and often with no social distancing. In some settings, this also involves having to teach in very different ways, from the front of the class and not being able to work directly with children.
In most cases staff are unable to maintain social distancing in particular when working with pupils who need extra help with their learning on a one-to-one, or small group basis. In addition, many are being asked to undertake additional tasks, including cleaning in between lessons.
Every education professional knows how important schools and colleges are to keep pupils safe, support their emotional development, educate them and support the economy, allowing parents to return to work. But schools and colleges are under huge and increasing strain and urgently need more support from Government if they are to continue their essential work.
See here for the NEU’s discussion paper on school rotas. We really want to hear your views about rotas and, in particular, implications for pupils and workload.
Workload | Remote/blended learning | Primary assessment | Secondary assessment | Ofsted | Staff management