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Is My School Safe?

As you know your school will be expected to open for full pupil attendance from the 8th March, whilst you have probably been working throughout this last lockdown we know you will probably have worries and concerns regarding your safety when all pupils are back in school.

In order for you to know that you will be as safe as possible once all pupils are on site you will need to see a copy of your whole school risk assessment in advance. Risk Assessments are a legal requirement and they will need to be reviewed and updated to identify the measures needed to reduce the risks from COVID 19 and make the school COVID secure before a full return of pupils on 8th March.

Members and reps should be consulted on the new risk assessment if this has not happened you need to ask your head teacher or relevant person, if having an involvement is refused you need to contact your GMB Rep/Branch Secretary or Regional Officer for advice on taking this forward.

As a minimum, ensure the risk assessment includes and addresses all the following areas in relation to protecting you from Covid 19:

  • Social Distancing
  • Bubbles/Groups (sizes & maintaining)
  • Face Coverings & PPE
  • Ventilation
  • Testing (taking of & result reporting/recording of)
  • Cleaning Personal/Equipment
  • Start/Finish Times (arrangements for rostered return)

In addition to the whole school risk assessment GMB position is that every role within the school should have to be risk assessed, along with all tasks and movements around the school. Risk assessments of individual roles should look at interactions and movements and assess them for risk for example a TA may work one to one with pupils with behavioural issues or they may be required/expected to cover whole classes alone or across different bubbles. It is important that you are involved in this process so it is a “done with” not “done to” exercise.

If you have not seen the risk assessment for your school or role then you must ask to see it. If an individual risk assessment for your role hasn’t been completed, then this needs to happen as a priority.

Risk assessments are key in protecting you from Covid 19 whilst at work, if they are not completed properly or shared then risks may not be identified and therefore not addressed.

If you have any colleagues who are not in GMB please tell them they need to be and they can join GMB online at www.gmb.org.uk/join

Posted: 1st March 2021

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