Tue 3 Nov, 2020

Scottish Greens Education Spokesperson Ross Greer MSP has called on the Scottish Government to end the postcode lottery of whether home working and alternative arrangements are being put in place for vulnerable teachers.

Questioning Education Secretary John Swinney in Parliament this afternoon, Mr Greer noted reports of schools in different council areas refusing to put in place alternative arrangements for clinically vulnerable teachers despite GPs advising that they shouldn’t be in the classroom.

Speaking afterward Mr Greer said:

“I’ve been contacted by vulnerable teachers, whose GPs have told them they should not be in school but whose requests for home working or other arrangements have been refused. As you would expect, they are terrified for their health and safety at a time where Covid cases in schools are on the rise.

“Mr Swinney said that individual risk assessments should take place, informed by advice from the teacher’s GP. But that clearly isn’t happening everywhere.

“Two teachers, in separate council areas, have contacted me directly to say that their GP is advising strongly against their being in the classroom, but their schools and local authority have refused to discuss alternative arrangements beyond statutory sick pay, which would obviously have a significant financial impact.

“The Education Secretary must make it clear to councils that the health of vulnerable teachers must not be put at risk like this, and that appropriate alternative arrangements should be made available to all who need them, immediately.”

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