Somerset Teachers Unfairly treated says Union

Somerset National Education Union (NEU) rep Robin Head has claimed that teachers in the county are getting a poor deal. Especially compared to teachers in other areas of the country. In a letter to the Chief Executive of Somerset County Council (SCC) lays out his case.

He notes that “Headteacher members (of which we have many) to stay operational up to Christmas Day potentially to deal with communicating about positive Covid testing. Other LAs (Local Authorities) in the country have restricted this to just the weekend following schools’ break up. Surely our Headteachers deserve a break (and a medal) for the ridiculous amounts of hard work they’ve been exposed to since May.”

He also voiced concerns about clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) staff. Noting that last week 22 schools in Somerset were affected by COVID 19, he asked for reassurance: “the NEU would like a statement from the Somerset CC to say the CEV staff should not be expected in school until further notice due to the current situation and that alternative work including remote teaching will be expected. (Especially as all SCC staff continue to be expected to work from home at the moment.) Despite measures schools are trying to enforce we are having cases of these members become extremely anxious due to the difficulty in keeping them safe.

Finally Mr head alleges that SCC have not made the right calls about sending schools back. He suggests that “We were told in the summer by SCC CEO that it was “safe to go back in the water” and yet over a third of our schools have had cases of infection and re-infection this term causing a huge risk to public health in terms of Covid and mental health as many schools get struggle to resource the learning required. Effectively our members’ lives have been gambled with.”

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