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Three quarters of teachers are being expected to clean their own classrooms and equipment regularly amid concerns some schools are not implementing effective measures to control the spread of Coronavirus, an NASUWT survey has discovered. 

As more schools reopen to pupils our survey has found that teachers still have significant concerns over their own safety and access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

And shockingly one in five teachers who said they were shielding because they have been identified by the NHS as being clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus have been told to go into school.

Seven in ten (72%) teachers believed that it was not safe for more pupils to return to their school and only 14% believed that it was safe.
Of 20,617 teachers who responded to the NASUWT survey, 74% said they had to clean down their classrooms and equipment on a regular basis. More than a third (36%) did not see cleaning staff throughout the day and 54% did not see any cleaning of staff toilets between uses.

Teachers said schools had implemented extensive measures to mitigate the risk from Coronavirus, including bubbles, smaller class sizes, one-way systems, staggered breaks and lunches and different start and finish times but that some were less effective than others and their application was often inconsistent, including social distancing between adults.

Teachers were asked whether they had access to PPE items when it was required but 42% did not have access to safety glasses or goggles, 27% did not have access to overalls/protective aprons and 24% did not have access to masks and face coverings.

BAME teachers were more likely to state that they did not have access to equipment including safety glasses or goggles (49%); overalls/protective aprons (33%); masks and face covering (34%).
When asked whether they felt safe following the provisions and response that schools have introduced more BAME teachers stated they did not feel safe (32%) compared to their colleagues (18%).
NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:
“Teachers are working extremely hard and with absolute dedication to provide high-quality learning for their pupils, be that to children in school or to those still at home through online learning and support.

“But many do not feel safe and the overwhelming majority of them feel it is not yet safe to open schools to more children whilst safe social distancing and access to PPE continue to be major concerns.
“In the absence of government guidance schools have been left to take measures to meet health and safety standards, but as our members have told us there is an inconsistent use of those measures to prevent coronavirus spread and reduce risks to staff and pupils.
“Effective cleaning is vital to prevent the spread of infection, and must be carried out by properly trained cleaning staff using appropriate materials. It is particularly concerning that teachers are reporting no cleaning staff being on duty. Schools must ensure cleaning staff are available throughout the school day to carry out regular cleaning.This must not be left to teachers to do.
“To hear that teachers who are shielding because they are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus are being forced to go into school is shocking and an absolute scandal.

“The NASUWT will not hesitate to challenge these unacceptable actions by employers which is threatening the health of teachers. The welfare of our members and the pupils they teach remains our top priority.”


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