Teacher survey finds 45% ‘do not think it is safe for return’

Almost half of those questioned do not think it will be safe for pupils to be back in the classroom, with 42% uncertain.

Teacher survey finds 45% ‘do not think it is safe for return’ Getty Images

Almost half of teachers questioned by a union do not think it is safe for pupils to return.

The NASUWT union questioned 780 teachers ahead of schools reopening this week.

The survey found teachers are anxious about going back to work and have not been given enough information or time to prepare.

A total of 45% of those questioned do not think it will be safe for pupils to return, with 42% uncertain.

The majority (67%) do not feel prepared to go back to their school or college and the vast majority (87%) feel anxious about returning when it is reopened to all pupils.

More than 70% had not been given assurances by their schools that PPE would be provided.

One teacher told the union: “I feel it’s very much just get in there and get on with it. I don’t feel safe.”

Another said there was not enough time to get all safety measures in place for the return of pupils.

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “Teachers need to be given the same level of protection as employees in any other workplaces.

“Our survey has highlighted that teachers have not been given assurances that even basic hygiene measures to help suppress the virus, such as paper towels and soap and hot water, will be made available to them. This is deeply concerning and must be addressed immediately.

“We have also heard from many cases, teachers who have not been told about the safety measures that will be in place to help prevent virus spread.

“The Scottish Government and school employers have a duty to listen to and address teachers’ safety concerns and take urgent action to ensure that schools reopen safely this term.”

Jane Peckham, NASUWT national official for Scotland, said: “The fact that almost half of teachers have told us they don’t feel their school will be a safe environment for pupils to return to should be a major cause for concern.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We agree that the health and wellbeing of pupils, students and staff should be the top priority when it comes to reopening schools and colleges.

“The guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term sets out the approach that must be taken, including a number of health mitigations.

“They include risk assessments, enhanced hygiene measures and Test and Protect.

“In addition, a surveillance programme is being developed for schools, where regular testing and survey data will identify symptoms and infections in the school population.

“This will allow regular reporting on incidences of infection and inform the ongoing development of guidance for schools.”

The survey was conducted between August 5 and August 9.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code