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The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is reiterating its call for Jersey schools to move immediately to remote learning and for greater safety protections to be urgently put in place in order to protect the health of children and education staff.

The NASUWT strongly lobbied against all schools fully reopening this week and reports from members received so far this week demonstrate that the Government is failing to adequately meet its responsibilities to keep staff and pupils safe in schools.

In some cases pupils are being told to bring blankets into school and teachers are leading lessons in hats, coats and gloves as classrooms are now so cold due to school risk assessments which advocate that all windows and doors are kept open to reduce Covid spread.

Rather than seek to keep schools open in increasingly untenable circumstances, the NASUWT believes a move to remote learning is needed in order to keep pupils and staff safe.

Schools would need to remain open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and where this is necessary additional safety mitigations should be in place, including the use of face coverings in all indoor areas of schools and colleges, stringent social distancing and additional protections for vulnerable staff, including allowing staff who are extremely clinically vulnerable to work from home.

Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The NASUWT has been pressing hard for additional mitigations to be put in place for schools but these calls have been ignored by the Government.

“The result is an increasingly untenable situation where pupils and staff are being expected to solider on in conditions which are antithetical to high-quality teaching and learning and which are putting their health and safety at unnecessary risk.

“A move to remote learning now would help to safeguard the health and welfare of children, young people, school staff and the wider community and is the only sensible course of action in the current circumstances.

“Ministers cannot continue to stubbornly disregard the welfare of pupils and the education workforce and must act to keep everyone safe and supress the virus.”  

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