UNISON continues to work hard to support school support workers as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
Wales specific updates will be placed on this page and we will also continue to provide up-to-date information on our Facebook page.
New Welsh government guidance for schools from September 2021
Welsh government updated the guidance on how schools can make their sites safe for staff and learners on 27 August, including the ‘Local COVID-19 infection control decision framework for schools from autumn 2021’
The link to the new operational guidance is here
Unions call for provision of CO2 monitors in schools
UNISON and the other education unions wrote to Education Minster, Jeremy Miles, calling for appropriate funding to be made available to schools for the provision of CO2 monitors to assist in the prevention of further spread of Covid-19 through monitoring ventilation levels in school.
This follows the UK government’s agreement to provide carbon monoxide monitors after education unions in England wrote to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urging the government to take action. Read our letter here. Read the response from Welsh government here
Read the UNISON school support staff summer 2021 newsletter. Get up-to-date with the latest news –
- Welsh Government Minister for Education and UNISON leaders say ‘Thank you’ to school support staff
- UNISON Cymru Wales meets Minister for Education
- Fair pay for school workers
- Learning Opportunities from UNISON
- Get help with school uniform costs
- Teaching Assistant working group reports findings
Wishing you all a relaxing and enjoyable summer break!’
UNISON survey shows most school staff members feel face coverings are an important safety measure
Results of a UNISON Cymru Wales survey on the use of face coverings in school give a clear picture that this measure helps you to feel safer in work. Over half of respondents (56% excluding ‘don’t knows’) would be worried if the recommendation for face coverings to be worn in secondary school classrooms was removed.
1250 school support staff members responded to the survey –
60.9% said that they felt safer wearing face coverings in work
56.8% felt that wearing them in secondary school settings is an important safety measure
20.4% would be very worried if face coverings were removed with a further
27.1% indicating they would be quite worried if they were removed.
Whilst appreciating that in some circumstances, wearing these all day can interfere with the ability for you to carry out your role as effectively as you would want, and that they are uncomfortable to wear for long periods as indicated in some of the comments, the overwhelming message was that members would prefer to keep this as a mitigating measure at least until the end of the summer term.
UNISON members’ contributions to this and previous surveys have helped to support our discussions with Welsh Government during the pandemic, thank you to all those who have taken the time to assist with this.
Read the Workload Charter for schools staff, endorsed by the education unions.
Welsh Government has commissioned Education Support to undertake a project to support the well-being of the education workforce in Wales as part of the whole school approach towards well-being.
A wellbeing advisor will be appointed to support up to 100 schools across Wales providing services including resilience training and sharing best practice. The charity will also create wellbeing and resource content for HwB and a specific Welsh section on the Education Support website.
We know this is an uncertain time, but UNISON is there for you. You can get updates and network with other school support staff via our Facebook page.
And we cannot emphasise enough, if you have any concerns about your health, safety or wellbeing at work, please contact your for further advice and support.
Whilst you are visiting our page, we thought you might be interested to learn about some courses from UNISON for members working in schools.
These courses are FREE for anyone living/working in Wales in the schools sector!
School Support Staff e-learning pathway –
Don’t forget you can stay up-to-date with our UNISON Cymru Wales school support staff Face Book page