Early Years Noticeboard

Last update: 12 Feb 2021
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Primary Schools, School-Based Nurseries and Maintained Nursery Schools

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On 18 Jan we published a guidance page to support primary schools, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools to carry out rapid testing on staff.

Staff should take two LFD tests a week, 3-4 days apart, before coming into work which is in line with the community testing programme.

In line with clinical advice, confirmatory PCR testing will remain in place for primary school staff and nursery staff in scope for whom testing is done at home, in order to minimise the risk that incorrectly reported positive results are registered. This is in line with other self-reporting settings.

Primary school staff calling 119 to book a PCR test need to say that they work at a primary school.

Staff displaying symptoms at any time must still self-isolate and take a PCR test. The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace current testing policy for those with symptoms. 

Deliveries in primary schools have now all been made – an updated delivery schedule is available on the Portal. The delivery schedule for Maintained Nursery Schools is also now on the Portal, with over 30% of deliveries having already been made and the rest due to take place week commencing 1 February.

Noticeboard Bulletin - 13-01-2021

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GMB has made the case to the goverment that as the pandemic reaches the worst phase yet, early years settings are unsafe to remain open, having been dangerously neglected during the pandemic.

Stuart Fegan, GMB's National Officer said:

“From the very beginning of the pandemic, Ministers have neglected the early years sector - missing it from Government communications, excluding it from financial support and from the provision of home testing kits. 

“Brighton and Hove Council have shown real leadership and taken a decision the Government should already have made to protect people.  But it shouldn’t have been left to councils to step in to address the Government’s failure here. 

“There is no scientific evidence to support the continued opening of nurseries. It is purely a political decision, made by Ministers who are failing to take their responsibility to staff, families and the wider community seriously enough.  

“They’ve left nursery staff, childminders and nannies worrying for their safety and sown fear and confusion among parents. 

“It’s time for the Government to step in and correct this dangerous mistake by closing all nursery and pre-school provision to all but key workers and vulnerable children, in line with school closures. “ 

GMB is also making the case that the provision of school meals remotely being urgently overhauled to address serious deficiencies in their delivery by the private sector.

Rehana Azam, National Secretary said:

“It's absolutely shocking. This is what happens when profit becomes a motive in public services - we've had enough of fat cats using the pandemic to line their own pockets, test and trace wasted billions and now this.

“Everyone working in schools and for our kids knows that hungry children don't learn and for some of the young people who need free school meals, it's their main meal of the day. It’s not good enough to apply to one family who posted a photo on Twitter, there is a much wider problem here.

“I can't believe we're still having a debate about whether we are properly feed hungry children in this country. The Government just needs to sort this out - and sort it out now - with proper funding for free school meals and an end to profiteering in public services."

For more updates on GMB in schools and early years settings, check back with us here regularly, and follow us on Facebook. For support in your workplace, contact your local GMB rep, branch, or region.

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