Teacher in a face mask teaches small child.

GMB: School workers scared for their lives

GMB, one of the UK’s largest trade unions, has released the results of a survey that asked school workers about their experiences in work relating to Covid-19.

Of the 7,100 staff that were surveyed, 57% of staff said there had been cases of Covid-19 at their school, with 67% of them saying there was limited testing available for staff or pupils who displayed symptoms.

One highlighted responder said:

“We are not safe, somebody needs to get a grip, can we stop pretending that schools are a safe place to be.”

With 60% of respondents saying they’d be asked to work across bubbles in their job, it is difficult to see how a school can be Covid secure, as other work places are.

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer, said:

“Our members in schools are scared. Covid outbreaks are rife and the safety of school staff appears to come second to political point scoring by Ministers.

“We all agree it’s vitally important not to disrupt children’s education - but we shouldn’t have to put the people who work in school’s lives at risk to do so.

“The Government’s Winter Plan has scant detail on the testing in schools urgently need.

“We urge the Department for Education to sit down with the unions to come up with a constructive solution.”

The survey was completed by various workers from within education including: teaching assistants, administrators, catering workers and other members of school support.

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