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Teachers: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidelines they have given to headteachers in order to protect teachers from COVID-19.

Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure the safety of teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The school workforce is central to the country’s response to COVID-19 and we thank them wholeheartedly for their support at this difficult time.

It is important to underline that schools remain safe places. Reducing the number of children and staff making the journey to school and reducing the number of children and staff in educational settings will protect the NHS and save lives by reducing the risks of spreading the virus.

We have published guidance for school leaders and staff on COVID-19 infection prevention and control in educational settings, which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19.

Guidelines on implementing social distancing in schools are available at:

ttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

We have also published guidance on the actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak which includes guidelines for school leaders on protecting the school workforce from COVID-19. This guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing.

Additionally, the Government has expanded its testing scheme to all essential workers. This includes anyone involved in education, childcare or social work – including both public and voluntary sector workers, as well as foster carers. If they or anyone in their household have symptoms, they are now eligible for a test to confirm whether they have COVID-19, so that if they don’t, the critical worker is able to get back into the workplace.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

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