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Head teacher refusing to close private school

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by simeonboyslayton, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. simeonboyslayton

    simeonboyslayton New commenter

    Both my partner and I are teachers.

    My partners school are essentially refusing to close the school and just letting students come as normal. However some parents are choosing not to send their children in. The head has insisted all 25 staff members come to school even though they only have 24 students. I’m a vulnerable adult he wont let my partner work from home. To add to that there was only one student in from my partners class. Some members of staff have either been in contact with or have had Coronavirus symptoms he is refusing anyone leave without a sick note including vulnerable adults. What should we do he has not responded to any of the staffs questions.
  2. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    If this post is correct and not a wind up - what's the big problem?
    Inform the local authority / public health England / the local health trust / the press / local MP / Police and uncle Tom Cobly and all.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I don't think your partner does need to work from home just because you are vulnerable if neither are showing symptoms.
    Private schools NEED to keep parents onside to get them to pay fees and so, unfortunately, teachers are less important than parents.
    If your partner only has one pupil in, then they can easily maintain 2m distance all day I would think.
    Some teachers are wishing their heads would be this fussy...
    Much as we all want to think all teachers are conscientious and professional, there are plenty taking the proverbial!
    welshwales and agathamorse like this.
  4. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Established commenter

    Whilst that is correct (my parents are in a similar situation and my mum is unable to take time off working in her PPI job), reports are emerging of asymptomatic carriers who are able to spread the diseases to others without knowing they have the virus. You also can shed the virus before symptoms start.

    I am petrified my mum could contract and pass the virus onto my dad. If my mum is in work, sat with others in a small office and someone gets sick, it may already be too late to distance from my dad.

    I understand there are no rules to support people in this situation, and schools are increasingly being run as businesses, but where does the blame lie if you’ve told your head and you still get ill, pass it onto a loved one and they die or become seriously, irreversibly ill?
    Catgirl1964 and rachel555 like this.
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    OP and husband go home, phone/email HT and say one of them is coughing and so they will both have to self-isolate for 14 days. If idiot HT asks for a sick note, tell them to check Government guidelines.

    And I'd also do as post 2 suggests.
  6. fartyowls

    fartyowls New commenter

    We all know that private schools are petrified that parents are going to refuse to pay their fees. Yes life goes on but there has to be a sense of reality here. I think a lot of private schools will be regretting their costly vanity projects over the past few years all done in the name of marketing.

    All I can suggest is to seek advice but from different bodies. They will not answer to the unions but if the same advice is being spoken by other groups then it is bad PR for them not to take note.
    towncryer likes this.
  7. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Independent schools are a business just like any other commercial enterprise. Some have huge reserves of money. Eton and the rest of the old public schools are extremely wealthy and will easily weather this storm. They also have a lot of very wealthy customers who will not want to lose the privilege of this education so they will readily pay up to keep these schools going.
    Yes there are independents which have not been around as long and may not have the same reserves available. They will need to do the same as any other business in the current emergency. Access what ever support the government is making available, work to keep the loyalty and support of their customers, borrow what they need. Government have reduced interest rates to an all time low in order to help businesses and the public.
    Remember that parents will still want these schools open when things return to normal, unless they want to send their child to the local 'bog standard' comp.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Your post is sanctimonious, irresponsible, and devoid of public duty.
    With respect.
    notreallyme75 and 8sycamore like this.
  9. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Sensible independent schools will have offered parents fee protection insurance as part of their school fees, which would cover the short term concern.

    That being said, I also don't buy in to the idea that we must all mass panic. There is justifiable concern about a lot of things, but we are barely a hairs breadth away from 'everyone must do absolutely nothing just in case' and OP has a flavour of that as well I am afraid.

    Go to work as you are required to do. Follow all the guidance about cleanliness, including the recent guidance about what to do when you get home and you will have done as much as you could have done including had you never gone to work.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Going to work as required or requested is the same as never having gone to work?

    In terms of social responsibility and potential to spread, this is saying black is the same as white.
    notreallyme75 and TheoGriff like this.
  11. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    In which case, we should close everything and no one be permitted to leave their house.

    My point is that if they follow all guidance then they will not be likely to be tracking the virus back home.

    To put my last statement in perspective, they will certainly not be any more likely to be tracking it in to their home than having deliveries to their home, or collecting food from the shops, where spotty teenagers coughing on packaging exist, or getting cash from an ATM and having to press buttons etc. At some point, (at most points in fact) with familiar travelling routines (and work commute is certainly that) and familiar groupings (Schools are definitely that) basic guidance on cleanliness, anti bac, hand washing, clothes in machine and showering immediately upon arriving home will address everything bar simple bad luck. And bad luck is just as likely as tripping on a flat floor and breaking your neck, it happens, can't legislate for it by staying at home.

    Perspective is important and, without minimising the risk this virus poses to lots of people, OP is not maintaining that perspective, neither are people telling them to call in a fake sicky etc.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    O dear.
    If you stay home you can neither pass nor get the virus apart from among those at home..
    If you leave your home you can.

    Notice how luck does not feature in these two truths.
    notreallyme75 and Jobalot like this.
  13. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Like I said (right at the start) in which case forbid anyone from leaving their houses.

    Short of that, my point stands and is accurate.
  14. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Why? Because it's a rule that cannot (and shouldn't) be enforced. For once the Government has got it (mostly) right. And the OP's HT hasn't.
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Well as you've not been back since you posted to see any advice, we assume you have sorted yourselves out and he has either gone to work or not today.
    install and HolyMahogany like this.
  16. Smithsboy

    Smithsboy New commenter

    The head, frankly, is an idiot, and is pandering to the worst bourgeoisie attitude - I pay, therefore I will. Unless you are a key worker, your child should not be in school. Simple. This is no better than a greedy cafe boss flouting the rules for profit. I sincerely hope they come to their senses and shut down. If not, some whistle blowing may be in order. If parents don't pay, they don't pay - if they don't , they must realise that there might not be a school to go back to.
  17. bugsysmum

    bugsysmum New commenter

    The government advice is clear, to stop the spread of the virus between households people should stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go to work. A staff to student ratio of 1:1 , is not absolutely necessary. Like state schools there could be a rota system which reduces the number of bodies in close proximity. It is not absolutely necessary to have a full staff in school for 24 children. Yes parents pay but not for one to one. 3 staff gives class sizes of 8, that would seem enough to me.
    littlejackhorner and agathamorse like this.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    Assuming this is a genuine post - report the head teacher.
  19. matevans

    matevans New commenter

    I'm sure you're right about some people (teachers or not) taking the proverbial... but I understand the worries for those with vulnerable partners etc and I don't think the 'showing signs' really works as a strategy.
    For example, I did the shopping this Saturday morning (as I always do - no panic buying, albeit there wasn't much to buy anyway) feeling fine. By midday was in bed. Spent rest of Sat, Sun & Mon in bed, temperature 39 degrees etc. Tuesday pottered around, now up early hrs Wed feeling not so bad. Of course without testing no-one can tell if they've had coronavirus or not, so maybe it was just coincidentally perhaps the worst bout of flu I've ever had.
    Anyway, my point being, if the onset is sudden, then waiting for symptoms before isolating I don't think can work. If it was coronavirus then according to the medical people (e.g. New Scientist magazine) I was infectious for the 2 days before the onset of the symptoms and potentially infecting everyone I came into contact with.

    Feel a bit frustrated with the government policy - happy for classes of 30 to be in a 6m x 8m classroom on Friday, then lecturing people for being immoral on the Sat and Sun when visiting outdoor tourist 'honeypots'. Don't get me wrong, quite agree that people ought to have been socially distancing - it's just that what the government was getting me to do on Friday, it was then telling me would have been immoral by Sunday, against the rules by Tuesday, and illegal by Thursday.

    And whilst I'm here, and I entirely understand if people say 'now's not the time', but can't help remembering the last time 'we were all in it together' after the world financial crisis. How did that work out? Well as public service pay freezes kicked in, teachers wages effectively fell 12-15% 2010-20, meanwhile Cameron's government used taxpayers money to take the EU to court to try to prevent them limiting bankers bonuses... Was happy to take the pay freeze back in 2010 as I bought into the 'national mission' stuff. More cynical now. Coming out of corona is going to be an economic nightmare and we know its going to hurt... but lets see how much Boris' 'heroic public servants' get shafted when the dust settles, whilst the rich carry on regardless. This isn't meant as a party political point - I'm no socialist and don't vote Labour - but I am frustrated that in the 30 years since I was leaving school, we've done so much as a society to make progress on e.g. racism, gender equality & acceptance of sexuality (I accept the jobs not done, but it 'feels' a lot better)... but in terms of economic & social justice, things seem no better or perhaps even worse...
  20. ellbee

    ellbee New commenter

    If your username is your real name you need to get it changed!


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