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NAHT Cymru comments on health and safety 'spot checks' on schools in Wales

Laura Doel, director of school leaders' union NAHT Cymru, has condemned the timing of this measure, saying: “It is unacceptable that schools are being put under the spotlight by HSE after just a couple days back in school.

“School leaders and their teams have worked tirelessly throughout the summer to ensure that schools are ready for the return of pupils this week. They have done everything asked of them and followed government guidance despite some unhelpful last minute amendments.

“Let us not forget that it was only last week that schools received the latest operational guidance from Welsh Government on returning to school, and within a week they are being checked up on.

“Of course we understand that the HSE have an important role to play in ensuring that all employers are providing safe working environments, but this announcement is particularly ill-timed with many schools finding out on Friday afternoon.

“Our school leaders need to remain focused on welcoming children and staff back to school and supporting those who are anxious and have questions.

“Schools have gone through vigorous risk assessment processes during the summer to ensure they are compliant. That information has been shared with staff and trade unions to make sure the processes are as open and transparent as possible to give reassurance to all involved.

“'Spot checks' will only distract from the work schools are already doing, and they insinuate that schools are not following the guidelines when they have shown to be doing everything in their power to do so.

“HSE risk getting an inaccurate picture of the situation if schools are not given some time to implement and refine the new safety measures.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk