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Collective letter from staff regarding opening

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by freddiecider, May 17, 2020.

  1. freddiecider

    freddiecider New commenter

    Hi there,

    I have my own thoughts upon school opening on June 1st and have started doing lots of preparation for it.

    However I have received a letter from a collective group within school ( but not all) via the union with a clear lack of support for the opening on June 1st.
    Anyone else received this?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A great many heads have done so, if the reps polled are to be believed.
    Not as many as the union hoped, but a great many none the less.
  3. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Outline the steps you would take to ensure their safety and assure them their safety and that of the pupils is your main priority.

    Make it clear that you're expecting all staff in on 1.6.20 and they will be doing whatever you've decided.

    After that, you will need to be guided by HR because if an individual refuses to come to work it's a conduct issue.

    If the staff want to strike they will have to ballot etc, taking you at least until the summer holidays, so make it clear that they still have to work from 1st.

    If anyone then says they won't come to work due to stress, manage them under your sickness absence policy.
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Oh dear.
  5. crumbleskates

    crumbleskates New commenter

    There are other ways to handle this situation...
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Your thinking about this has to start with your own view on reopening.
    Then you need to ensure that your team believe what you say - that you have their safety and welfare at heart. Then you need to convince them that you also have safety of the children, and their progress, at the top of the list. Then you need to go through you risk assessment and the decision-making process with them.
    I think it's right to day you don't know everything; it's right to say no-one knows; it's right to show that you have used the best information available to you. Perhaps you ought to say that in the light of incomplete knowledge, no-one can guarantee that mistakes won't be made, but that the best way of coping is collegiate, and is a "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions" approach.
    You might discuss the balance of risks and advantages - how much damage is lockdown doing the children? In terms of academic progress? In terms of mental health?
    If you are determined to open, you must bring your staff with you. If you are determined to stay closed, then I'd say you need to bring your staff with you on that, and establish how you are going to ensure that the children's education continues, and how teaching and learning remotely will be brought up to the volume and quality that you had in school before lockdown.
    I think you need someone to discuss all this with - your Chair of Governors is the obvious one (and must be consulted anyway) but your DHT should be useful too - especially to act as devil's advocate and to provide constructive criticism.
  7. crumbleskates

    crumbleskates New commenter

    Fully agree. Those who have had to WFH: many will be feeling guilty and scared. The risk for them hasn’t gone down, so tread carefully, individual chats, noted down, is sensible. For some it will be clear they shouldn’t be in, for others they could be in.
    Talk through plans with everybody, so they feel included and informed.
    Give yourself time, ideally with SLT to think things through before making final decisions. Ideally lead and manage by consent.
  8. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    It's a fine line, you need them to trust that you will only open if guidance and advice says it is safe to do so and that you will have a clear plan for how provision will be delivered if/when it does.

    I don't envy Heads right now, between politicians and unions both choosing easy and largely meaningless soundbites to throw at eachother (and unions have been angling for this fight for months in my opinion) Heads are being put in an unenviable decision.
  9. mbee1

    mbee1 Occasional commenter

    "Make it clear that you're expecting all staff in on 1.6.20 and they will be doing whatever you've decided"

    Hope you haven't put this in writing to staff?

    Our LA yesterday issued it's risk assessment for completion. 25 pages. Also an individual risk assessment for each member of staff. Emergency Governors meeting tonight but there are still many days yet when, whatever decision is made, could change things.

    I'm still not convinced it's the right decision for any year group other than Y6.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  10. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Yes- but I’ve asked the staff to come in for a whole staff meeting (socially distanced, of course) on the 1st to outline my plan.
    This was always the plan, as the new HT joins the school on this date and will be commencing their 3 month induction before taking over from me in September.
    Pupils won’t be in on this day.

    Although at this stage, only Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be returning, with social distancing practices we will need to split the classes into 2- maximum of 15 per class, so this will result in 12 classes instead of 6- utilising majority of the teaching staff.
    Hopefully, things will be back to normal in September.
  11. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    I don't usually answer comments I feel so reprehensible, but this one takes the biscuit. How harsh and uncompassionate you sound. These are people you are talking about. They have worries and concerns that you could take into consideration and do as some of the other posters on this thread have said.

    Well, said crumbleskates.
  12. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Oh dear.
  13. mbee1

    mbee1 Occasional commenter

    You still can't expect ALL staff in on 1 June 2020. We've risk assessed all staff and there are some exceptions. We have three women who are pregnant (one teacher, three Ta's) who have been excluded from being in school so they will continue to work from home. One member of staff has a partner who is extremely vulnerable so she has been excluded and we've two more who are "unhappy" at having to return so whilst we can exclude them we will.

    We're not back until 8 June and then only Y6. One week later Y1, a week later F2 then, finally F1. That will take up 11 classrooms so only giving us three spare.

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