Teacher's/ school staff experiences

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I just wondered what people's experiences were like now that most of us have been back for a few weeks? Is everyone feeling safe? One of the reasons why I ask is because our school seems to have taken the strictest line regarding safety of students compared to colleagues I have spoken to in other local schools, but as a teacher I have a few concerns as do a few of the other clinically vulnerable members of staff.

We have year groups in bubbles, with different start and finish times, different areas of the school for lessons and also break. In theory there is no way that they can mix until they leave our premises. They sanitise hands on entry and exit to each lessons and we as teachers wipe down the teachers desk & computer prior to the end of each lesson. We also have to go to the students bubbles to teach, which minimises risk for students, but I would feel significantly safer if I were in my own classroom in my own department as I would only be coming into contact with the students I teach and the other 4 members of my department instead of dashing across school between lessons. A member of teaching staff has been told by her union and doctor that she needs to work from home (severe asthmatic, 20+ weeks pregnant). HR spoke to occupational health and said that she was expected in school teaching as the measure in place would mean that she has no risk of catching the disease. When I am on patrol I am expected to collect ill students and take them to the medical room prior to them being collected by parents. Last week I had to collect 7 students with covid symptoms - one told me she was fine as her mum had given her cough sweets and when we contacted home they refused to collect her as they were too busy and it was "just a cough". We also have a reduced 20 minute break and a 20 minute lunch now, which I am just about managing to keep on top of in terms of injecting and eating. Other schools seem to have different approaches. One other local school has a 'back to normal' policy; simply said to students to socially distance where possible, kept them in bubbles for lessons, but done nothing for breaks and on their first day back the deputy head and other senior staff were on the front gate welcoming students shaking their hands and high fiving them! Another school has year group bubbles, house bubbles and extra curricular bubbles so that students in different year groups get to meet for choir, orchestra/ windband, sport etc(!!)

I would be interested to know what other people in schools at the moment are finding.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Not a teacher here but how can they say your severely asthmatic pregnant colleague is at no risk of getting the disease?
I am not suprised by what you say about students.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
My eldest has recently started working as an art / DT and music technician in a school/college, and they seem to be mostly making the teachers move around while the kids stay put.

There is a lot of cleaning wiping down of computers, equipment, furniture and music keyboards though, and Art/DT/Music seem to be the subjects where the students are still required to move.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
My eldest has recently started working as an art / DT and music technician in a school/college, and they seem to be mostly making the teachers move around while the kids stay put.

There is a lot of cleaning wiping down of computers, equipment, furniture and music keyboards though, and Art/DT/Music seem to be the subjects where the students are still required to move.
In sciences too, my son is a Physics Teacher.
 

freesia

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
My experience will be different as i work in primary ks1 5-7 year olds. At our school, we have staggered start/end of day, staggered break and lunch times. Everyone is constantly handwashing and we as staff clean tables down several times a day. The children and staff can move about in the key stage bubble but thats it. If we have to go to another part of the school eg photocopier, resources cupboard, we need to social distance from any member of staff we meet along the way and clean anything we touch.
 

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Not a teacher here but how can they say your severely asthmatic pregnant colleague is at no risk of getting the disease?
I am not suprised by what you say about students.
Headteacher told me she didn't want me in until September back in June when some of our students returned as I was clinically vulnerable. There were then 2 INSET days put in place at the end of July. I was telephoned by HR and told I had to come in. I reminded her that I was clinically vulnerable and that the Headteacher had told me to stay away. to which she responded "There are lots of teachers who are clinically vulnerable here and they are all coming in. Why can't you?"
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Headteacher told me she didn't want me in until September back in June when some of our students returned as I was clinically vulnerable. There were then 2 INSET days put in place at the end of July. I was telephoned by HR and told I had to come in. I reminded her that I was clinically vulnerable and that the Headteacher had told me to stay away. to which she responded "There are lots of teachers who are clinically vulnerable here and they are all coming in. Why can't you?"
How frustrating for you Matt

Sounds like some not-very-joined-up thinking :(

Did you go in for them?
 

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
How frustrating for you Matt

Sounds like some not-very-joined-up thinking :(

Did you go in for them?
Had a lengthy chat with my line manager and he said I would only come into contact with my team (3 other people) as we would be working in departments. It was fine, but just another thing to add to the list of problems with HR. It doesn't help that one of my wife's best friends is head of HR at a huge multinational and is constantly telling me that what HR are doing is either not allowed or just rude/ showing a lack of empathy. We have no union presence at our school either and so there is a lot that we do that we are not really supposed to.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
It was fine, but just another thing to add to the list of problems with HR.
Is this something you can raise as a challenge you are facing? Do you have annual reviews etc?

It seems likely you are not the only person to be having a difficult time with HR? Just wondering how much of that is being fed back to the school’s management. Though that might feel like sticking your head over the parapet?!
 

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I am one of the few teachers who is happy to raise their heads above the parapet (nice analogy by the way - History teacher). We were told that this year we would all be chipping in with an extra lunchtime duty until I reminded the Head that it went against statutory teachers pay and conditions and can only be entered into by teaching staff if they have an additional paid contract for the duty. They have now amended it to link to a 4th appraisal target for senior teachers, which I then reminded them went against government guidance that no teacher is to have more than 3 targets. If we had a union rep as most schools do then this would not be an issue as they would be consulting prior to decisions. A lot is done on a goodwill basis, but more is being added to our workload with no reciprocation and so something could break soon.
 

Perfect10

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
I work across all schools in my area and they are all doing it different, 2 schools now have whole year groups off and self isolating due to positive tests and one has a small bubble off. There are a couple of staff who have tested positive. Students are on the whole staying put in their classroom but teachers moving round, some wearing visors, as masks not possible . It is pretty impossible for staff to keep 2 metres away though!
For me I can work from home and meet via Teams or Skype with my schools.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I have friend who no longer teaches in the classroom but is a external mentor to trainees. She told me last week that differnt heads are allowing mentor in and some are not.
 

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I am having to train teachers via Zoom this year. Their experiences are all very different. I suppose one thing in their favour is that they are new to the profession and do not know what school was like prior to this.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I am having to train teachers via Zoom this year. Their experiences are all very different. I suppose one thing in their favour is that they are new to the profession and do not know what school was like prior to this.
Yeah my friend is doing this terms contact via Zoom, but next term she is supposed watching them in the classroom.
 

Matt J

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@Matt J - are any of the school Governors accessible to you?
I have a department link governor I have worked with for several years. I was going to speak to the head first rather than going over her head (if you pardon the pun).
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Sorry - I understand what and why you say that - but the board of governors SHOULD be told ! - Governors are responsible for the overall 'health' of the school whether it's performance results or any other mortal thing. Hence they absolutely need to know about it, in the first place.

Since any number of them are usually running businesses of their own (or in responsible positions as employees elsewhere) they bring different skills and points of view, the ability to see different ways of dealing with things.
 

Bexlee

Well-Known Member
@Matt J after all the help pre lockdown / during lockdown I’m finding it difficult. We start 30 min earlier and finish 30 min later as we childmind before registration so they don’t mix despite mixing in the bus! Break and lunch are now staggered and included in a lesson so something like teach 15 min break 15 min teach 45 min or 30:15:30 or 45:15:15!!! So I have 5 different lunches and 5 different breaks. Very difficult to inject and eat as sometimes only 60 minutes between break and lunch and only 90 min since breakfast which is now eaten at school as I really do need sleep it seems!!!

I did have a plan in place if I had bad hypo etc at school - now doesn’t work because of the bubbles. No answer to it despite asking. I don’t actually think there is an answer. HR rang me 3 days in to see how it all was - that was after 2 INSET days and a day of yr 11/7 only ! Couldn’t give answer and not heard from since (big trust multiple schools). We are in own rooms and the kids in year group bubbles that move around so that at least is something. I don’t feel particularly safe but mainly due to grown ups who can’t follow rules rather than kids. Can’t really speak to anyone as no one seems to want to take responsibility and they pass the buck. Not sure the Governors really know that much that’s going on. They put their name to the covid risk plan but they ain’t anywhere to be seen on the ground lending a hand with lunch duties or actually seeing what’s going on day to day.

We’ve been “volunteered” for duties some 220 duties a week! But having said all that I do love teaching the kids again and in the main they’ve been brilliant.
 
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