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"School could reopen on weeks"

Discussion in 'Education news' started by ridleyrumpus, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    The article suggests opening for the young first ("Paul Cosford, the agency’s emeritus medical director, said that easing the lockdown for the young first was being considered as ministers look to set out an exit plan for the coming weeks") - which seems to mean that social distancing rules will be ignored as the youngest children won't be able to keep away from each other (or the adults who work in schools).

    It also says this:

    "Head teachers are lobbying the government to reopen schools before the summer holidays, even for just a few weeks, if scientific advice says that it is safe.

    Paul Whiteman and Geoff Barton, the general secretaries of the NAHT and ASCL head teachers’ unions, have told ministers pupils would benefit greatly from schools reopening before the summer, rather than waiting until September.

    They believe that even a few weeks of school would help pupils remember what formal learning is like and what is required of them. If schools do not open before the summer children will have been away from the classroom and formal learning for more than five months.

    The Department for Education is said to have shown a “genuine interest” in the approach, which would see pupils return for a number of weeks during the summer term to “reacquaint themselves with the educational environment”.

    Question - if a school reopens, and a member of staff catches Covid-19 there and spreads it to a vulnerable person in their home, will the school (or maybe HT who has been lobbying for schools to go back) be liable in a criminal or civil legal action brought against them?
    Sally006 and Catgirl1964 like this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Answer: No. No more than Sainsburys is liable if you catch Covid-19 there. You could construct an extreme hypothetical scenario where liability could arise (the sort of things law students get asked to write essays on!) but for real world purposes if the government opens the school and someone catches Covid-19 in school no-one will be legally liable.
    Pomza likes this.
  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    The correct analogy would be with a worker at Sainsburys who caught the virus, surely? I'm thinking about an employer (a school, in this case) not fulfilling their duty of care towards their employees.
    Sally006 and Catgirl1964 like this.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    By 'you' I meant a Sainsburys employee.

    An employers duty of care isn't an absolute duty to prevent you catching an infection at your workplace at all costs. ACASA describes the duty of care as "[the employer] should take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their [employee's'] health, safety and wellbeing". It always depends on the facts of course but 'reasonably possible' is the key.

    Obviously any employer could avoid any risk of breaching their duty of care in all scenarios entirely by shutting their business entirely! But unsurprisingly that is not what the law requires. A government instruction to re-open schools would be strong evidence against a breach of duty of care.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If the Government pushed schools to re-open I'd still expect them to leave the final decision with the HT, Governors or Academy Trust. Under the circumstances where medical/scientific advice is divided, I think any school that moved more quickly to reopening might well be putting some of their staff in danger. Sounds like a great potential revenue stream for some solicitors, but could be disastrous for some staff or their families.
    Angelina219 and Sally006 like this.
  7. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I am sure that the welfare of Teachers is ignored in all this posturing about schools opening before the summer holidays. Are the people suggesting this likely to have been 2 metres from pupils even before the virus?

    The plan reminds me soldiers having to walk towards the enemy lines in the first world war.
  8. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    As teachers we need to threaten and carry through legal proceedings, through legal aid, if this happens, on the basis of human rights and being forced to work in contaminated environments and under contaminated conditions. No-one should be forced to pay any solicitors for this absurd and ridiculous notion. Now being out of Brexit may make this difficult, as we cannot appeal to the EU, but it's worth considering seriously through the court of human rights..
    Lalex123 and Sally006 like this.
  9. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Precisely, and we should not, as teachers, allow this to happen again and LEARN from history but for many on these forums, there is a lack of fighting spirit and a clear resignation to accept going back to a potential germ warfare environment like lambs to the slaughter. Mistreating the NHS workers and then clapping for them is one thing, horrendously patronising; dying key workers, bus drivers, any supermarket staff in death statistics...and now teachers to be put forward earlier than any experts advice??

    THESE forums, too often display passive individuals that lack any fighting spirit and that's really disappointing.
  10. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Leaving the decisions to HT, Governors etc...is precarious
  11. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

  12. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    If all possible actions by your employer to prevent you from contracting the disease is evident and can be measured then no BUT no employer will be able to prove this conclusively, so as an employee, you would need to insist on testing for covid and prove that you did not contract this until you entered your place of work. Mostly complex and so many variables but the culture in this country needs to become more on par with how USA would deal with these issues; document and then prove that over the course of the invisible killer making its appearance, and you being forced to work in it, has been detrimental to your health and known concerns of transmitting the virus from child to adult is commonly known and as such passed onto you. (Which I understand is the opinion at the moment).
  13. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Sorry I disagree with the definitive nature of this response.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It isn't definitive. I made it clear that...

  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why? There was no decision left when the government closed schools. It was a directive that all schools would close form the Friday, apart from key worker children and those with an EHCP.
  16. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Good luck with being a teacher and getting legal aid, esp for what would probably be a civil suit.
    Rott Weiler likes this.
  17. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Probably happens often with standard flu -and with equally sad results to boot for the vulnerable relative.

    Point being the virus is going to be a risk whenever teachers return, all that can be done is we try to lower the risk.

    To be fair, the government has never pretended otherwise.
  18. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    The key words are those in bold.
  19. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    So it would be reasonable to assume that all teachers would be tested to see if they have or have had covid19 and will be issued with ppe is it?
    Sally006 likes this.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No idea. What do you think?

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