Extra responsibilities should not be ‘heaped onto the shoulders’ of Education staff in Wales

17 Dec 2020
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GMB, the union for education staff has called on the Welsh Government to reveal plans for serial testing in schools ‘before we all break for Christmas’.

On Monday Welsh government unveiled plans for the serial testing of staff and students across the nation’s schools from January.

The Welsh government is yet to release details on how the tests will be administrated, with the union worried that it will be an ‘extra responsibility heaped onto the shoulders’ of overworked education staff.

Education staff have already shouldered extra responsibilities, including cleaning measures which, a GMB survey revealed, often sees staff having to supply their own cleaning products. 

GMB has called on the government to clarify details of the testing regime as soon as possible so that it can be properly scrutinised before being rolled out in January.

Nicola Savage, GMB regional organiser said:

“It’s vital that we see the plans as soon as possible so that we can properly scrutinise this testing regime before we all break for Christmas.

“Our education staff are already overworked and underpaid, are we really now asking them to be the front line in rolling out a testing programme? We’ve already asked education staff to clean the classrooms on top of e-learning and everything else.

“The close proximity will also put them at risk of catching this infection, something that they didn’t sign up for, so we need to make sure the regime has appropriate PPE available before this is rolled out.

“It’s clear to us that the Welsh Government needs to find extra capacity to solve this. It can’t just be another heaped onto the already heavy shoulders of our hardworking education staff.”

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