Education unions yesterday (Thursday 28 May) met with the Secretary of State Gavin Williamson to discuss staff and students returning to schools.
The following joint statement – signed by the TUC, NEU, NASUWT, NAHT, GMB, UNISON, Unite, AEP, Prospect and NSEAD – has been issued:
Unions representing school staff held a productive meeting with the secretary of state for education.
We all want a safe return to school for staff, children, parents and the wider community.
At the meeting we took the opportunity to discuss the concerns raised by our members working in schools about reopening on June 1. And we stressed the importance of monitoring the impact of returning more pupils to school and listening to the experience of school staff.
We will be working closely with the department to ensure that the guidance is a living document, informed by all those delivering care and education in every school in the country.
The education secretary has agreed a further meeting with unions in two weeks' time to discuss any revisions needed to the guidance on safe working in schools and to discuss further stages of reopening.
Over the next two weeks we will be working with our members to submit their experiences of reopening schools* and will raise these issues with the education secretary.
The education secretary has also agreed to invite school support staff unions and the TUC onto the DfE's formal stakeholder forum, and to hold a further discussion with all unions about support for disadvantaged pupils following the disruption of recent months.
Notes to editors:
* beyond the children of key workers and others who have stayed at school throughout the crisis
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