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Playground duty when pregnant

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by missprosser7, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    I am currently 17.5 weeks pregnant and in September I am working full time at a local primary school until I need to go on maternity leave. (it's a short term contract).

    The school is aware that I am pregnant and generally supportive. However when I talked to the deputy the other day he mentioned that he would still expect me to do playground duty.

    All the other teachers who I have met whilst teaching, who were pregnant, were taken off playground duty as soon as the school found out they were pregnant.

    I have to admit that I'm quite uneasy about doing playground duty. As I'm a member of the NUT union I have read their guidlines (Maternity Matters document) and the advice is quite vague:

    All pregnant workers are protected by the legal duty which requires employers to assess and address the specific risks they face because of their condition. Pregnant teachers are, therefore, entitled to expect that, where necessary, schools take action to reduce the risk of unintended playground collisions or of assault by pupils who are known to have disruptive and violent tendencies. This might, for example, involve excusing pregnant teachers from playground supervision duties and making sure that violent pupils are removed from their classes.

    What can you advise me please? Can I refuse to do playground duty if I don't feel confident? I will be 24 weeks pregnant in September on starting the job so just about to be in my 3rd trimester.

    Thank you!

  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    If you haven't yet, write formerly to inform your school of your pregnancy in September - You are legally not required to do so until you are 25 weeks, but as they already know it is probably a wise idea to get things formally in place - Thereafter a risk assessment should legally be undertaken within 14 days of the formal notifications receipt.

    When you are consulted on your risk assessment you could raise your concerns. The bottom line is that, if playground duty poses 'risks' the school has to support you with solutions that allow you to undertake your job safely - that may not mean being fully excused, but could mean giving you time to visit the toilet prior to being in situ, providing a chair for you to remain seated at a vantage point rather than walking around, and indeed not being required to intervene or undertake any physical restraining that may be required in instances of violence between students.

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