Latest schools update

Published July 15, 2021 at 8:55

As we come to the end of another difficult school year for staff in schools, the government’s latest announcements on lifting COVID-19 restrictions in England have created uncertainty and confusion. Over the coming weeks and in the lead up to the Autumn Terms UNISON will be working to provide additional advice and guidance to explain what the changes mean and how we can keep members and children safe in schools.

Please see below for more details on government guidance and our upcoming members meeting, where you can find out more about UNISON’s forthcoming work.

UNISON response to ending bubbles and isolation
The government has confirmed that the majority of remaining restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be lifted in England from Monday 19 July. Other UK countries are taking a slightly more cautious approach.

For schools, this will include the ending of bubbles and from 19 July. NHS Test and Trace will take over responsibility for finding close contacts of positive cases from this date. From 16 August, children aged under 18 and adults who have both doses of the vaccine will no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact. You can read more details on advice for schools in the Department for Education’s latest guidance below.

UNISON believes that the government’s plan to end bubbles and self-isolation of close contacts in schools is a gamble and could lead to more disruption. UNISON will continue to urge the government to strengthen safety measures in schools. We will publish updated guidance for members shortly.

Read the government guidance for schools
Members meeting – Tuesday 20th July
Are you feeling concerned or confused about ‘Freedom Day’ on 19 July, what this will mean for schools in September and how it will affect you at work?

Come along to our online meeting on Tuesday 20th July at 5pm to find out more about how the new advice may affect you. The meeting will be chaired by Pam Howard, Chair of UNISON’s Schools Committee. Jon Richards, Assistant General Secretary and Head of Education, Kim Sunley, National Officer, Health and Safety and officers from the education team will explain the new guidance for schools, what this means for members and how UNISON can support you at work from September.

If you have a question you would like to ask our speakers, please fill out the form at the link below by Friday 16 July. A selection of questions that are submitted will be answered during the meeting. 

Submit a question
Join the meeting (on 20th July, 5pm)
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