Teachers: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to impose sanctions on any teacher who does not (1) return to teach in schools once it has been deemed safe to do, and (2) teach children online from home if they cannot attend schools; and if so, whether such sanctions will include the suspension of pay and pension contributions.

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 department does not have any plans to impose sanctions on individual teachers regarding their attendance or performance, as these are employment matters for employees and their relevant employers to resolve on an individual case by case basis.

The Prime Minister announced on 10 May that as a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of COVID-19 has decreased. We anticipate that with further progress we may be able to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings from the week commencing 1 June, provided that the 5 key tests set by government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing and the enabling programmes set out in the roadmap are operating effectively.

As a result, we are asking schools, colleges and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met. Schools, colleges, and childcare providers should refer to our guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Any settings operating between now and 1 June should read that guidance in conjunction with Actions for schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing.

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