Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others.
After 18 months of disjointed and unsettled education, it’s vital every effort is made to minimise transmission among pupils – most of whom will not have been vaccinated – in an attempt to keep as many as possible in class.
It is accurate to say that disadvantaged children have experienced the greatest loss and subsequently the greatest inequalities during the pandemic and that positive action is essential for all pupils as they seek to recover from the breaks in their education.
Measures that should be operating include improved ventilation to limit infection spread.
The starting point however for all H&S in school is the Risk Assessment. Please ensure that you are happy that…
- the RA has been updated to take into account the most recent government advice
- it has been subject to consultation with staff
- this document is a live working document that is being updated and implemented, being reviewed frequently.
- all staff and named persons within the Risk Assessment are aware of their specific responsibilities?
- all staff are encouraged to report occasions where the RA is deficient or where it is not being implemented fully
With the new academic year finally up and running, caution and vigilance should be key elements of the school response.
All employment settings are workplaces and it is essential that risks are minimised. This can include measures such as mask wearing and proper ventilation, alongside testing.
In Scotland, there has been a growth in cases since pupils returned to school settings.
If schools are to prevent further disruption to pupils learning, government must ensure they are supported to take effective measures in response to any outbreaks or transmission in the school community.
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