According to substitute teachers who fear they are transmitting Covid-19 as they travel between classes, classrooms are not being cleaned often enough.
The alert comes from a survey conducted by the largest teachers’ union in the world, the Educational Institute of Scotland.
Cleaning was of particular concern to some workers who cover more than one class per day or week because they feared spreading the infection across different classes or schools, EIS leaders said.
One interviewee said, “Increased cleaning is stated for each level of the tier system, yet this seems to be the first thing that is lowered due to staff absenteeism. Touch surfaces are not cleaned by cleaning staff, but by classroom teachers. Duties are reduced to trash cans and restrooms only.”
Uncleaned classrooms, teachers warn, are a covid risk,
Another added, “Because I work as a substitute teacher, I feel particularly at risk because I rotate between different classes during the school day and week and therefore come into contact with more students and adults than other classroom teachers within the school. As a result of this work role, I am currently isolating myself.”
The EIS notes that existing coronavirus initiatives do not completely protect pupils and staff, and that before and after the Christmas holidays, there should be more distance learning.
Secretary General Larry Flanagan said, “Substitute teachers often work at multiple schools or in multiple agencies during their work week. This puts them at potentially higher risk of covid infection.”
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We have dedicated £ 50 million to education recovery costs, including cleaning, a government spokesperson said. Our guidance makes clear that local authorities and schools should ensure that an improved system of environmental cleaning is in place.
The Health and Safety Executive’s program of independent inspections culminated in strong reviews on the work of schools. School workers should be allowed to pose questions.