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Commenting on a COVID-19 Education Unions Forum meeting, at which the expansion of provision for pupils in schools was discussed, Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT is pleased that the Isle of Man Government has acted on some of the concerns raised and is taking proactive steps to address these.
 
“These steps include ensuring all school hubs are visited by qualified health and safety advisors, however, this does not appear to include a thorough examination of risk assessments. The NASUWT asserts that risk assessments are key to ensuring schools are safe to receive increased numbers of pupils and these should be signed off by a suitably qualified person.
 
“The Union is pleased that the Department for Education, Sport and Culture has empowered headteachers to be able to delay the expansion in provision, where risk assessments indicate that further action is required. We urge headteachers to use this power where required.
 
“The NASUWT would also stress that the arrangements and risk assessments must be fully consulted on with staff to ensure that all eventualities are recognised and addressed and there are no sudden surprises when schools open to larger numbers. Schools must not open to higher numbers where this consultation has not yet taken place.”

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