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gill hall

Return to work risk assessments

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gill hall

Following the govs announcement I am now expected back to school in Sept to face 9 different groups of teenagers during my working full time week in a cramped classroom after weeks of shielding. The headteacher is about to ask me in to discuss my needs etc and do a risk assessment. Can anyone advise as to what measures I need in place to protect me? I have Addison's, P.A. sticky blood, under active thyroid. I would be most grateful to have a response from the clinical advisory panel.

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annelben

Hi Gill

At the moment the advice is stringent social distancing. I don't know whether your union can advise on recommendations in school and if your GP or endo can write a letter for you. . There are other teachers in the group who may be able to help now. 

Best wishes

Anne

 

 

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gill hall

Thank you. I have asked my Union for support. My GP has suggested everyone wear masks and my consultant has yet to get back to me. I think there s more advice due out in 6th July although it doesn't help my case when other teachers who have been shielding are just going in now. 

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suep1954

Hi

 

Just been reading BBC News article on returning to school in Sept. Have a read it's quite interesting.... classes 'bubbled', no mixing of bubbles, staggered start times/lunch times etc, no social distancing measurements as such but all desks forward facing, 2 cases of coronavirus and the bubble or whole school to stay home and isolate (schools to have testing kits available for children to take home if isolation becomes necessary).... 

 

Sue

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susie e

I hope that your union and consultant will come up with some decent support.  GP talking bilge - how can you teach in a mask, and children are not going to be wearing them - worth pointing this out to them and asking for some informed support.  What is the level of infection rate in your area?   We all face risks in our lives, and this is a new, additional risk. What is needed is some help in assessing how great that risk is likely to be and planning realistic safeguards.  What other people choose to do is their affair - you have to assess what is right for you in your unique situation, and you deserve some well-informed support in doing that.  There are going to be some children who can't come to school, at least initially, and they will need help from teachers who are not in school either.  Sending you strengthening and positive thoughts.

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suep1954

Hi Susie

 

Just wondered why you say you can't teach wearing a mask? If nurses, doctors and all those working in hospitals, plus other front line workers, wear masks all day, why not teachers? 

 

True they take a bit of getting used to but wouldn't it would help teachers feel that bit safer? 

 

Sue 

 

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susie e

I would have thought that the job of teaching, communicating effectively with children, was very different from the roles you list, Sue.  It's not about how the teachers feel when wearing them, but the barrier to communication that is the issue.  I found it very difficult to understand what my dentist was telling me during a recent visit.  But wearing a mask does not protect the wearer - it protects those around them.  For masks to protect Gill, they would have to be worn at all times by all the children and other staff in the school. I don't know what age group she teaches, but no-one is suggesting that children wear masks all day at school, presumably because it would be almost impossible to maintain, especially with younger ones.  The GP's comment appeared very flip to me.

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suep1954

We seem to have had rather different experiences Susie. I spent 3 days in hospital recently where everyone was wearing a mask and communication wasnt a issue. Same yesterday when I spent a half day in hospital. I too had to wear a mask this time, as did every other patient. Bad luck re your dentist. 

 

I understand some extremely vulnerable children will not be expected to attend school but that all school will be expected to supply comprehensive online teaching for them. Maybe working with the online teaching programme is a way forward for vulnerable teachers, rather than the classroom situation?

 

Sue

 

Sue

 

 

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susie e

I agree with your last point, Sue. That seems to be the most sensible way to deploy vulnerable teachers.  But I still think that the sort of sustained communication required from teachers to children (now from a distance, at the front of the room, very unlike normal practice) would be very difficult from behind a mask.  And in any case, the fact remains that to protect a teacher, it is the children who would need to be wearing masks - and I'm sure you see the problem there!  Maybe 10 pluses might keep their masks correctly in place all day, but I can't see that being the case for younger children - and, indeed no-one is suggesting that should be expected.

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suep1954
Posted (edited)

Hi

 

I think we must just 'agree to disagree' as they say.

 

This coronavirus, like all other coronaviruses, is here to stay. Perhaps we all have to make that personal choice as to how we go forward. Do we change our lives indefinitely and effectively try to hide from it for as long as possible or do we bite the bullet, get out there and take our chances. I suspect that decision will be age and health related for all of us. 

 

Initially they said herd immunity was the only way forward, whether via vaccine or percentage of population who have had the virus. But no-one yet knows whether there is any lasting immunity...whether it's like the common cold (another coronavirus) and you can get it again and again.....so herd immunity via numbers is not necessarily an option. 

 

I'm fortunate in one sense, that I am retired and no longer go to work every day. Would I return to my office if I was still working? Yes, I think I would... with all due precautions. Not the same as a school environment but all workplaces have their own high risk areas. 

 

I received a shielding letter so am one of those who has been hiding away but I'm out and about now and I  have to say I've been very impressed with my hospital and limited shopping experiences so far. 

 

I'm also back with my family. I'm looking after my 5yr old grandson today. He's autistic but still understands that he can only give Granma standing up cuddles because of "this naughty sickness". Sitting on her lap however seems to not count. Hey ho, I wouldn't have him any other way. All get togethers with my other daughter and those grandchildren we keep outside still as my daughter is a frontline nurse and has contact with covid patients. Back to those personal choices again. 

 

Hope you are findiing your way safely through this nightmare. Take care

 

Sue

 

Edited by suep1954
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alison63

A whole host of people have had to continue working during the lockdown.  Not just on the front line in hospitals but in supermarkets,corner shops,trains and buses. Furthermore not everyone with underlying health conditions have been shielding. One of the cashiers in our local supermarket has secondary AI.

Many others have been furloughed and as this is now being reduced they are having to make the decision to go back to work,others have become unemployed. 

Children need to go back to school therefore teachers have to start teaching. If you feel that you can't then that is your decision and perhaps you should discuss this with your school and they could put you on long term sick pay. 

As I mentioned in previous posts children are everywhere but not in schools! 

You could catch it from other members of staff? Anyone could catch it from any other adult. 

Pubs ,restaurants,holiday camps,beaches and most shops are now functioning.  This may be the wrong thing to do but we have to try, however difficult it may feel or how uncomfortable. 

Alison

 

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susie e

I don't think we really disagree, Sue.  Certainly I agree with much of what you have written in your last post.  But I think the choices facing Gill are very difficult, given what is now proposed for schools, and her GP's comment about masks sounded unhelpful to say the least because that is unrealistic.  I see teaching as a special case because it involves prolonged close communication with sizeable groups of children from a variety of family homes.  Alison, I would guess that Gill, as a teacher, is more aware than most of the need to get children back to school, but she is seeking some informed advice on how to assess and avoid the risks to her given her multiple health conditions.   I do hope she can get the support she needs.

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suep1954

Teachers are definitely special Susie . Where would we be without our dedicated teachers. 

 

You are right too Alison... ALL the frontline workers are brilliant.... I'd like to mention the fab delivery drivers who have brought my food orders every week, always careful to keep their distance and always, always with a smile. 

 

Thank you one and all. 

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crooney2

I am in the same situation. I am a full time teacher in a large secondary school and have been very grateful that I’ve been allowed to work from home since March. It has been awful. I’ve spent every day teaching/marking online and on the phone to parents/students who are struggling. I am going to ‘bite the bullet’ and return to school in September despite my anxiety about the government guidance. I was hoping to be able to teach in my own classroom and stay a 2m distance from students but due to the guidance I will have to move around the school between every lesson and teach five different classes of 32 children in small class rooms. I will request an outdoor break duty and go home at lunch time rather than spend it with staff/students like I normally do. I may ask to continue to attend large meetings via zoom rather than in person. I will also wash my hands constantly and social distance as much as is possible which I suspect will be very difficult. If there is a spike in my area at any point and the hospital is struggling I may change my decision.

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The Addison’s Disease Self-Help Group is the support group for people with Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency and their families in the UK and Ireland.The group was formed in 1984 and is a UK registered charity no. 1179825.

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