Return to work in a school

MDM

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I'm an infant school teacher, type 1, who has been working at home since the end of March. Today I have been told that all staff must be back in school next week, regardless whether or not they are clinically vulnerable. I asked about a specific risk assessment for myself but was told there was just a general staff one (that does not refer to those who are vulnerable). I said I was worried about maintaining social distancing in the classroom and was told that this would be impossible between myself and the children and would always be the case in a school. I asked what other measures would be in place then for my safety and was told there wasn't any! Are there any other type 1 teachers out there who are back in the classroom? What should I expect?
 

Pumper_Sue

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi MDM and welcome to the forum.
If you are not on the shielding list then you will be fine, if you feel safer then wear a mask. As I understand it having type1 diabetes does not put you at any greater risk than anyone else.
 

LucyDUK

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Hi @MDM

Welcome :) I can understand your worry.

The advice given by the government is just that those who are shielding should not return to work - however Diabetes UK have requested that those with underlying conditions be given the option to continue with home working if they are not able to adequately distance, which in infant school will be tough. My understanding is teachers are not allowed to wear masks is that right?

You could share the link below with your school and ask that they reconsider, but at it stands it is down to individual employers to decide what reasonable adjustments they make.

 

MDM

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Thanks for the replies. No I'm not on the shielding list. You're correct that we are not allowed to wear masks.
 

T1Ryan

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
T1 here with other health conditions. High blood pressure and high BMI. I have been working from home . Work wants me back. I'm support staff at a school. I have to work with multiple students help with work and school devices. Really don't want to go back but work has made it feel like I don't have a choice. Really need help and support?
 

Pumper_Sue

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
T1 here with other health conditions. High blood pressure and high BMI. I have been working from home . Work wants me back. I'm support staff at a school. I have to work with multiple students help with work and school devices. Really don't want to go back but work has made it feel like I don't have a choice. Really need help and support?
Have you spoken to your GP regarding being put in the shielding group? If you are in the shielding group already then you can not be forced back to work.
 

T1Ryan

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Have you spoken to your GP regarding being put in the shielding group? If you are in the shielding group already then you can not be forced back to work.
I have . Said he couldn't put me on the shielded letter. Im not on it . Only thing he has offered is off sick for my anxiety. But work doesn't care unfortunately. Its a paycheck or my health at this point :(
I have been working loads from home.
 

Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
I'm support staff in a primary school and have been back since June 8th. We have all children in”bubbles” of max 12 children, one teacher and midday supervisor per bubble, staggered start, end and break times, eat lunch in classroom, separate areas outside to play, no parents allowed in school buildings at all unless by prior arrangement, two rooms designated as isolation rooms if anyone becomes ill. If anyone in the bubble becomes ill the the whole bubble must self isolate for two weeks. Lots of hand washing and cleaning going on all day, close early on Friday for deep clean, and no mixing of people from one bubble with any other bubble. It's definitely not back to normal! You can’t completely remove the risk but I feel safe enough and want to do my bit. All schools should have similar measures in place and they should be open to discussion if you are worried.
 

LucyDUK

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
I have . Said he couldn't put me on the shielded letter. Im not on it . Only thing he has offered is off sick for my anxiety. But work doesn't care unfortunately. Its a paycheck or my health at this point :(
I have been working loads from home.

If you are signed off as unfit for work due to sickness (ie anxiety) by your doctor then your employer should not be making you go in. It would probably be helpful for you to give the ACAS helpline a call and they can advise you of where you stand.

 

freesia

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I'm support staff in a primary school and have been back since June 8th. We have all children in”bubbles” of max 12 children, one teacher and midday supervisor per bubble, staggered start, end and break times, eat lunch in classroom, separate areas outside to play, no parents allowed in school buildings at all unless by prior arrangement, two rooms designated as isolation rooms if anyone becomes ill. If anyone in the bubble becomes ill the the whole bubble must self isolate for two weeks. Lots of hand washing and cleaning going on all day, close early on Friday for deep clean, and no mixing of people from one bubble with any other bubble. It's definitely not back to normal! You can’t completely remove the risk but I feel safe enough and want to do my bit. All schools should have similar measures in place and they should be open to discussion if you are worried.
I'm a TA with type 1 and we do the same at our school. I feel safe enough to have been doing some work 1-1 with children, leaving a metre between us. We handwash all the time, have plenty of breaks outside and i clean the tables etc every lunch and afternoon. I have hand gel on me at all times and everything we touch which other people use eg photocopier etc are cleaned with antibacterial spray after we have finished. You can't eradicate all risk but you can minimise it. I was off from 16th March and was desperate to get back and help out. I've been back since schools reopened for Rec, Y1 and Y6 and feel safe enough to carry on going in.
 

T1Ryan

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
If you are signed off as unfit for work due to sickness (ie anxiety) by your doctor then your employer should not be making you go in. It would probably be helpful for you to give the ACAS helpline a call and they can advise you of where you stand.

Yes but if I use this sick note . I'll have a big chance of losing my job . I really love my job but I Don't want to risk my health and job :(
 

LucyDUK

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Yes but if I use this sick note . I'll have a big chance of losing my job . I really love my job but I Don't want to risk my health and job :(

I’m sorry that you are facing this decision Ryan, that’s a really tough position to be in. Have your work detailed how they plan to make the environment as safe as possible? Is there anything about the measures that is reassuring at all?
 

T1Ryan

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I’m sorry that you are facing this decision Ryan, that’s a really tough position to be in. Have your work detailed how they plan to make the environment as safe as possible? Is there anything about the measures that is reassuring at all?
Yes . Tour of school because layout has change . Have been told PPE is only for emergencies.
 

Ditto

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I think everybody is bonkers. I'm waiting for the second wave and then the third... not very helpful I know but that's how I feel. Too complacent by half is what I think.
 

Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Yes . Tour of school because layout has change . Have been told PPE is only for emergencies.
We have to wear gloves and aprons for cleaning tables, which then have to be double bagged and binned, and full PPE including face coverings if we have to deal with a first aid incident. But at the same time the head has told us that if we'd feel safer wearing PPE all the time then we won’t be stopped from doing so. It makes you really hot though!
 

MDM

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Personally I would like to have the opition of a face mask but only ppe allowed for first aid.
 

Lizzzie

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Although as I understand it masks offer little protection and are more about preventing aerosol spreading to others? That said that wa a week ago so in a minute you'll tell me i'm six days out of date.... it changes so fast!
 
Last edited:

atoll

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
at the moment we are all guinea pigs,and untill there is a noticeable spike of working age diabetics contracting severe symptoms we will have to wait and see.

the best we can do is that we put our weight behind DUK to lobby the government on our behalf.
and wash our hands etc

my wife goes back to work as a teaching assistant for autistic children and care worker for autistic adults this week/
we have both been isolating since early march as i have PAD and T1 etc,but immediate savings are getting low and we don't qualify for any other type of financial support..

i guess if diabetics ,who go back to work, start dropping like flies they will have to do something about it,like they have done for all the brave BME NHS staff who died.......£60K to dependents.

otherwise keep calm and carry on,the next lockdown may be sooner than you think,forcing a major rethink on the governments covid policy,dead people don't make good voters........
 

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I am sorry to hear that your school has put you in this difficult position. I am a healthy(ish) type 1 and a secondary school teacher. My headteacher pinged out a questionnaire a few weeks ago to gauge who could come in if needed - categories were 'clinically extremely vulnerable', 'clinically vulnerable' and then everyone else. I responded telling her that my GP had told me it was unwise to go back as the children in school were those of key workers and more likely to be carrying the disease and therefore I should continue to work from home. The government advice at the time was for the clinically vulnerable to work from home (pretty sure this is still the case). The head contacted me to say "Don't worry, I have made the decision for you and other clinically vulnerable staff and think you should continue to work from home until September". I would suggest contacting your union for advice as what your headteacher is doing seems extremely unfair. You are right to ask for a risk assessment too as it is unfair for you to be expected to return without one.
 

Keith56richard

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I would definitely contact your union. I work as support staff in a school & I have type 2 diabetes so am clinically vulnerable. There is an agreement between my union & the dfe that if you are clinically vulnerable you should work from home If you can & if you can’t you should still stay home & the school has to accept it. This is until the end of July
 
Top