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Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by MilkyBar Kid, Mar 3, 2020.
I saw that.Nothing concrete from SSTA either.
Does anyone know if a headteacher can put you on a rota to supervise one pupil if you haven't volunteered to do so?
Currently I believe it's only volunteers that should be involved.
So if your headteacher puts you and other staff down to supervise a pupil and you haven't volunteered can you refuse to do so without any comeback?
Entirely voluntary. Also as most schools are technically on holiday you cannot be compelled to work in a hub during this time. If you are still being asked to do this after the holiday period the as stated earlier, speak to your professional association as a matter or urgency.
Its totally voluntary and politely decline if you don't want to. As has been said above, union ASAP.
Advice is quite clear, you stay at home and work from there if you can.
Back sooner rather than later? Just shows you how politicians will latch on to any scientific study out there to justify reopening schools earlier than we may have anticipated. I think it is practically impossible to maintain social distancing in schools and the idea of a phased return would also prove difficult. I think we will return before the summer, possibly for new timetable in June, not because of the science, but because most parents will have had enough by then, virus or no virus.
Its not "practically impossible", it is impossible. FWIW I dont think Scottish schools will be back before the holidays.
Firstly, its going to be very difficult to get staffing. Many teachers will have underlying health conditions and could well be advised to stay at home especially if the estimated peak date slips for 2/3 weeks or it could be they are recovering from the disease too.
Also, its still reckoned that "social distancing" will be advised for a period after lockdown. In a practical sense that would mean that a classroom that is designed to hold 33 pupils could only take possibly 20 for arguments sake. That would mean 13 pupils in another room with another teacher. You could possibly double up that with the over spill from another class but would still require 3 teachers where it would normally need 2.
There could be additional supply cover but we all know how difficult it is to get supply cover (who are invariably retired, older & many with underlying health conditions). If you fell into that category and you got a call from a DHT asking you if you wanted 2 weeks work in a breeding ground at the tail end of a pandemic would you sign up for it?
Nah, me neither.
A return will not be possible until a vaccine is available. Packing disease-spreaders into rooms with vulnerable teachers at the front will sentence some of those teachers to death.
Social distancing in schools is not possible.
I hear what you're saying, mb, but I'm pretty sure schools will be back long before a vaccine.
Agreed, and not just in relation to schools. We're going to have to learn to live with the virus for a long time before the vaccine appears next year. Lockdown will continue until the end of April, perhaps into May, then the restriction measures will be gradually released with social distancing still in place. The economic pressure by this time will be intense, especially when we are over the 'peak'. By the summer/autumn we will become a society divided into haves and have nots, the haves who have had the virus and come out the other side and want life to return to normal, and the have nots who have not had it and still want strong social distancing measures to remain. I think we can pretty much write off the majority of next session in terms of normal education. Schools will reopen in some shape or form by August at the latest but I suspect further short lockdowns as the numbers begin to climb again, as well as ongoing high levels of staff/pupil absence.
But we will not know who has had covid19 by August. The anti-body test is , for some strange reason, being delayed by the government. 100000 tests per day is never going to happen.
Living with the virus is being mooted. That will simply lead to a cycle of shutdown-no shutdown-shutdown until herd immunity is achieved. This would be even worse for the economy. Raising and dashing business confidence will destroy any trust in government and investment will die.
But the government will probably try to get it all back to normal too soon and teachers will die. And useless, truly useless, unions will watch members die and say what can we do?
The sad reality is that in some corner of every government around the globe will be a report / calculation estimating how many will die depending on what course of action a government takes and when they take it.
Things like the impact on the economy, how many will die as a direct result of the virus and how many will be indirectly affected by depression, poverty, stress etc. Also getting folk back to work, how it may or may not feed the virus and also how it impacts on the NHS will all be factors being considered / built in to the estimates.
Its going to affect us all in some way. The pledge to pay 80% of peoples wages (the right thing IMO) will have to be paid for so its likely we'll have another period of wage restraint and / or higher taxes. We'll be living with this long after we get a vaccine.
My bet is S4s-6s back for new TT in June. Large classes split between adjacent rooms.
This got me thinking. The SQA has actively taken the decision to do nothing wrt this year's exams, thereby placing the onus on teachers to dish out exam grades, which, on the face of it, seems fair enough - and there genuinely seems not to be another practical way to do it.
Now, I think this will not go according to plan because, inevitably, there will be pupils (parents) who will not be awarded the grade they (think they) deserve. Some will be genuine, and we've already discussed the wasters here. Some pupils will miss out on things like uni, college, apprenticeships, even jobs etc and there could be one hell of a stushie. Who will take the blame? Certainly not the SQA, because they will be able to say that grades were decided by teachers and had nothing to do with them. Perhaps teachers will "over-award" grades to avoid such scenarios.
Also, can you imagine the atmosphere (behaviour?) in some S5/6 classes next year if you've a few pupils who "underperformed" according to your estimation and have to resit or aren't allowed to take Higher?
There was an interesting article by Matthew Parris in the Times on 20 March, "Crashing the economy will also cost lives". I can't find the article beyond the Times paywall unfortunately.
Parris argued - more eloquently than I can summarise here - that total lockdown would destroy the economy thereby leading to longer-term distress which would be more harmful to more people in the long term (eg mass unemployment, debt, physical and mental illness, more people in poverty), and wouldn't it be better all round to strictly lock down only those people who are likely to become seriously ill or die from the virus - still an enormous number. Of course this approach wouldn't catch everyone and some people not deemed vulnerable would also die, but this would happen anyway, and it has.
Its a difficult question to answer and depending what youve got to lose and which different brackets you as an individual fall into will inform your point of view.
Also if the pandemic was allowed to spread unhindered the NHS wouldnt cope meaning some folk who would survive if they got treatment wouldn't. It would be unimaginable and unforgivable if a government allowed that to happen. The bit about only those who are deemed at risk is also a moral minefield to as there have been many folk taken who had no underlying conditions. On balance the government has responded to this well for the most part.
The very fact that folk are now discussing the trade off between economic Armageddon and saving lives shows a change in public perception. Discussing this, without actually proposing that we let people catch covid19 so that we restart the economy, would have been unacceptable only a few short months ago.
But now the business owners, the bankers, the politicians are contemplating millions more unemployed, almost zero economic activity, borders closed, supply chains irrevocably destroyed.
For example, think of the rag trade. Millions of workers packed into pig pens producing 1 pound tshirts. Right now nobody is buying them. Those millions of workers lose their incomes and we are only a cough away from food riots in the streets of Bangladesh. Repeat that across India.
Some economists are predicting a 20% loss of economic activity. I reckon this is ridiculously optimistic.
It's difficult without access to the original article, so sorry for that, and I'm wondering if I should have posted at all.
Parris wasn't arguing for unhindered spread as, for example, social distancing would still be in place. I'm sure there would be more cases of infection but he argued that the NHS would still cope. Any decision the govt takes wrt this virus is a moral minefield because people will die whatever decision they take. I agree that central and local govts have done well to date; sure, it could be better but this is an emergency.
Parris argued that total economic shutdown, as we more or less have now, will have serious health implications - comparable to Covid19 disease - well into the future for millions of people. As I mentioned above, any govt decision will adversely affect some people.