Staff Communication Page re COVID 19
As a special school, we will be operating a limited service to those children most vulnerable or of single parents who work as key workers. In order that this service can run, you are expected to attend work for your contracted hours unless you are self-isolating due to showing symptoms or social distancing yourself as a result of a medical condition.
If you are self-isolating please text Beth on the absence line and indicate when this should end - only text again if this changes.
Below is the list of conditions that mean you need to socially distance yourself:
- Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- Under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis, chronic heart disease, such as heart failure, chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
If you are social distancing, you will be expected to complete work at home to support the School and the pupils.
If you have school age children then their school must offer your child care as you are a key worker.
Working hours will be 9:15-3:20 for those who are full time, unless you have a separate arrangement with one of our families who you are supporting or your own circumstances are impacted. These arrangements must be agreed with Claire in advance.
Many thanks for all your support during these difficult times.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. As a special school employee, am I classed as a key worker?
Yes, but we appreciate that there are a large number of factors involved here and that it may not be possible for our full teaching and support staff to be able to be in School for a variety of reasons. The government guidelines regarding key workers and services can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
Equally, the guidelines ask the following:
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
As key workers your child's school must offer you provision for your child to attend school so that you can continue to work. If you have any issues with your child's school providing this you must speak to Claire.
2. I am a contracted Meal Time Assistant. Do I still need to come into work?
Yes, unless you are unwell, self-isolating or social distancing as part of the vulnerable group you should be in work as usual.
3. Will I be paid if I am having to socially distance myself because I have a condition listed as part of the vulnerable group?
If you have contracted hours then you will be paid for these hours as if you were at work. However, if you are doing this you need to let Beth or Julie know as they will be collating the information.
4. If I am social distancing as I am in a vulnerable group, will the time off be classed as sickness?
If you are social distancing and are well then no, your time off will not be classed as sickness. You are following guidelines set out by the UK government, DfE and NHS. However, if you become ill whilst social distancing please let Beth know as this period of time would need to be classed as sickness.
5. What happens if I am unable to work because a family member I live with has become unwell?
Regardless of the current situation, people will become ill at various points throughout the year anyway. If the family member displays symptoms of the COVID 19 virus then you must self-isolate for 14 days to help prevent the potential spread of the virus and let Beth know that this is what you are doing.
6. Do I need to inform School if I am unwell, even if School is closed?
Yes. If you become unwell you need to let Beth know via the absence line – details are at the bottom of the page – or email. Periods of sickness need to be logged as such on the system.
7. If I am unable to come to work because I am in the vulnerable group or because my own child’s school has been unable to provide childcare provision for key workers safely, is there anything I can do to support School?
Yes. If you are having to be at home because you are social distancing as part of the vulnerable group, but are well, you are expected to work from home as much as you can. Please contact your class teacher who will be able to advise and co-ordinate what you can do.
You must speak to Claire if you are having issues with your child's school providing key worker provision for you.
8. I am a staff member who is supporting our most vulnerable pupils by working. What do I do if about any additional time I worked during the school day e.g., lunchtime cover?
If you are working to support our most vulnerable pupils and are supporting them at home or in the community/using the School facilities and work additional hours, please email this information to Beth who will ensure that a time sheet is completed on your behalf and sent to payroll.
9. I work as part of the casual supply bank of staff, what will happen regarding pay etc?
We appreciate the important role that our casual supply bank play in supporting the School. Work has been carried out regarding March’s pay and you should have received a communication from Beth regarding this. We will be keeping in touch with our casual supply bank staff regularly and supporting them as much as are able.
10. I have a condition that makes me part of the vulnerable group, do I need to provide proof to the School?
At present, no. But you do need to let Beth or Julie know that you are social distancing as part of the vulnerable group and why. We may well ask for proof from your GP or consultant in the future but they NHS has enough to manage at present without this additional pressure being put on them.
We will be adding to and updating this page regularly to try and keep communication clear and open with all staff. This is a very fluid and unprecedented situation and we are doing our best to ensure that you have clarity about what is needed/expected. If you have a question not covered by the above please contact Beth who will find the answer and add it.
Please check this page regularly for updates.
Absence line opening hours: Monday to Friday 07:30-17:00 – please feel free to text or leave a message at any time, the phone will be checked for messages on Sunday evenings. The number is: 07375 790804.
Beth can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter to confirm key worker status
Letter to confirm Key Worker status: COVID 19 Teacher-Teaching Support Staff confirmation ltr
The above letter can be used to confirm your key worker status with your child's school when requesting a space for child care provision. Please amend the letter appropriately with your name and position.
If you need a printed copy please let Beth know and she will post one to you.