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Last week, the UK Government opted to close schools but said some schools should remain open so that key workers can continue to go to work.

But some schools are struggling to cope with the demand with many staff at home. Further some staff remain worried about the virus continuing to spread between pupils.

According to the NAHT staff are “understandably anxious about the personal risk of simply going to work”. But should the school situation change to benefit staff and parents of those present? This blog post explains.

The latest situation in schools

The National Association of Teachers said the death of Cumbria primary school head Wendy Jacobs hit teachers “like a bombshell”. 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT said: “Having heard the Prime Minister speak many colleagues will be rightly concerned for loved ones and understandably anxious about the personal risk of simply going to work.

“It would not be surprising to find, in the absence of clear government advice on keeping safe, that fewer colleagues are willing or able to work today than yesterday.

“We need a steep change in the detail of advice given to schools now. Our focus will be to reiterate the need for schools to be given clear guidance on how to keep pupils and staff safe.”

What can be done?

According to Mr Whiteman: “It is absolutely vital that we have sight of the expert medical advice on safe levels of attendance and density, and are provided with practical advice on the protective steps we should be taking in schools.

“From masks to other PPE, to distancing children from each other, to sufficient supplies and hand sanitiser, schools urgently need answers to their questions about effective safety measures.”

But is there another way that schools can maintain staff safety and educate pupils?

Should schools continue to open?

Both parents of a child do not need to be key workers in order for the pupil to attend school. The purpose of opening schools is to ensure key workers can still attend their place of work and provide vital services.

The definition of key worker will be flexible and dependent on circumstances and requirements during the period. There will be flexibility so that those that need support receive it.

It may be however, that you feel more comfortable keeping your child outside of school to protect your own health. There are alternative provisions which means your child can continue learning – at home with the non-key worker in the household or with friends or relatives.

Many schools are already using EDLounge Limited to educate children outside of the classroom. Our online service provides access to over 11,000 lessons. It features safeguarding mechanisms including alerts, instant chat, eyes-on support and live teaching in order to protect pupils.

EDLounge means you can continue to learn virtually, meaning a range of benefits including less health risk.

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