The Planning Guide is explicit that ‘unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff’.
Questions for reps to ask:
- Given that social distancing is expected in all other areas of society, it is unacceptable that the Government expects schools to open without the protections that are recommended for other environments, eg shops and public transport. What is proposed to address this issue?
- Where there is a risk of airborne contamination, because social distancing cannot easily be adhered to, particularly where staff are at risk from spitting or biting and where pupils are unable to catch or control coughs and sneezes, the joint unions believe that PPE must be provided and training given on its use and disposal. Will this happen?
- Will PPE be available for emergency situations, for example when a pupil develops symptoms during the school day and is awaiting collection?
- What assurances can be given about secure arrangements for sourcing PPE?
- Can confirmation be given that, if any member of staff wishes to wear a face covering, they will not be prevented from doing so?
Are you satisfied that adequate arrangements for group sizes, social distancing and PPE where necessary will be in place when extended opening begins? Yes / No
NEU/GMB/Unison/Unite have produced a commentary and checklist guide for primary schools.