School covid measures 'too little too late'

04 Jan 2022
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GMB, the union for school support staff, has branded new covid safety measures for schools ‘too little too late’. 

Ahead of the start of the spring term today [4 January 2022] GMB and other education unions called for urgent additional mitigation measures to be introduced to help keep staff and pupils safe and to ensure schools can stay open.  

In response, the Government recommended face coverings be worn by pupils and staff in secondary schools, announced 7,000 air cleaning units to be rolled out to classrooms across the country and Ofsted inspection changes. 

Avril Chambers, GMB National Officer, said: 

"While GMB welcomes these changes, they clearly fall short of what we were asking for. 

“Once again it is another knee jerk reaction by a shambolic Government.  

“It is too little, too late. 

“Rolling out 7,000 air cleaning units when there are more than 300,000 classrooms across the country is completely inadequate. 

“We need proper risk assessments in all schools, while secondary schools may need a staggered start for the new term to ensure every pupil is tested on site. 

"GMB urges all employers to permit staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable and pregnant women to work from home.  

“We expect serious staff shortages in schools during this wave of the pandemic. School support staff have kept our schools open through the pandemic and shouldn’t be expected to pick up the slack once again.” 

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