School staff must be allowed to wear face coverings for safe reopening, says UNISON

Responding to a joint statement by UK chief medical officers about school reopening, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said today (Sunday):

“This acknowledgement of the transmission risk between staff in schools underlines why it’s vital they should be able to wear face coverings.

“It’s still unclear why government guidance won’t allow them, when they’re recommended for other workplaces.

“Regular deep cleaning is also key. Schools need more money to pay for specially trained cleaners, rather than relying on other staff who’re busy enough already.

“More thought must also be put into ensuring there’s proper social distancing in place for staff who may be working in cramped conditions, such as school meal workers in small kitchens.

“No one wants to see schools shut down again after a few days because we haven’t done enough to put necessary measures in place.”