Jersey's government 'failing' to keep staff and students safe says teaching union

The union says teachers are "leading lessons in hats, coats and gloves as classrooms are now so cold". Credit: ITV Channel TV

A teaching union is calling for Jersey's government to move schooling online with immediate effect.

The NASUWT says reports from its members suggest the government is "failing to adequately meet its responsibilities to keep staff and pupils safe in schools".

The union says some students are being told to "bring blankets into school" and teachers are "leading lessons in hats, coats and gloves as classrooms are now so cold". That is due to school risk assessments which say all windows and doors are to be kept open to reduce Covid spread.

However Jersey's Chief Minister says the risk of transmission in schools "remains low" and that the island is in a "very different" position to the UK.

In a statement the NASUWT says schools would need to remain open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children with additional "safety mitigations", including face coverings and social distancing in place. It also sets out additional protections for vulnerable staff - allowing them to work from home.

The result is an increasingly untenable situation where pupils and staff are being expected to solider on in conditions which are antithetical to high-quality teaching and learning and which are putting their health and safety at unnecessary risk.

Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT

The statement concluded by saying "ministers cannot continue to stubbornly disregard the welfare of pupils and the education workforce and must act to keep everyone safe and supress the virus".