Tower Hamlets NEU Update 14th September 2020

Tower Hamlets NEU Meeting

Monday 21st September

5:00pm via Zoom

Register here

The alarming rise in the number of Covid-19 cases is a cause of concern for all of us, and it seems likely that the situation facing schools will change dramatically over the next few weeks.

This highlights the importance of schools keeping their risk assessments under regular review and staff being able to raise concerns and have these discussed. Your role as NEU Rep is very important in this and we encourage you to set up regular catch-up meetings with your headteacher.

1. COVID-19 IN TOWER HAMLETS

We are monitoring the situation closely and we are in regular contact with local Public Health officials to make sure we have the latest information, which we will share with you each week.

i) Local case rate: in the week commencing Monday 7th September there were 73 new cases confirmed in Tower Hamlets. This is equivalent to approximately 24 new cases per 100,000 of the local population. This is still quite low, and there are no plans at this stage for a local intervention.

ii) Covid-19 cases in schools: since the beginning of term we have been informed of four schools which have reported confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst staff – so far these have turned out to be single cases and there appears to have been no spread within the school. The schools affected are responding in line with advice from Public Health and the London Coronavirus Response Centre (LCRC) and we will be in contact with our Reps to discuss the situation.

iii) Dealing with suspected cases in schools: Here is a set of slides from Tower Hamlets Public Health, which outline the steps schools should take if there are suspected cases of Covid-19 amongst staff or pupils and then if there are positive:

Covid-19_cases powerpoint slides

Covid-19_cases PDF

It is worth discussing this with your head so everyone knows what is expected of them.

2. NEU LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER

The NEU has sent a strong letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, reiterating the measures that must be carried out, as a matter of urgency, if we are to ensure education continues for all pupils. The letter addresses our concerns about safety and also the need for a Plan B when schools are forced to close or send children home. I have attached a copy of the letter and the Union will be developing some campaigning steps around this in the next few weeks.

Read the letter to Boris Johnson here: NEU Letter to Prime Minister Schools

That’s all for now, we will contact you later in the week with other news – in the meantime please do register for our meeting next week, and encourage colleagues to do likewise.