With some schools open already and the rest set to follow in the next couple of weeks, here is the latest information from UNISON about safety in schools and early years.
We’ve got an update on face coverings, a reminder about our dedicated guidance page, and important new advice for staff who have serious concerns that returning to the workplace will endanger their health.
The government has been forced to change its guidance on face coverings after weeks of pressure from UNISON and other unions (as well as high-profile scientist Professor Alice Roberts referencing our advice).
From 1 September, head teachers in secondary schools in England will have the “discretion” to introduce face coverings in their schools.
Additionally, in areas of local lockdown, staff and pupils in secondary schools will be required to wear face coverings in corridors and communal spaces. (The same exemptions for those unable to wear face coverings will apply.)
UNISON’s position remains that staff should be allowed to wear face coverings in any educational setting, if you choose to. We continue to pressure the government to issue clearer guidance and we will keep our FAQ on face coverings updated.