Monday 4th January 2021
I am sure you are aware from the media that there is currently a huge amount of debate regarding the safety of schools being open to all children given the current rates of COVID-19 infection. This has led to many teachers being advised by their union to invoke the protection of sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act:
Under Section 44, individual employees have the right not to be subjected to detriment if they refuse to attend/leave work due to their reasonable health and safety concerns. Under Section 100, an employee's dismissal for refusing to attend/leave work due to their reasonable health and safety concerns is automatically unfair.
Over the weekend, a large number of our teachers have formally notified us, as their employer, that they intend to invoke this advice and will not attend school under the current plans for full opening. This along with isolations and sickness has resulted in nearly 50% of staff being unavailable. This has left us in a position where we do not have enough available staff to safely open for all children.
School leaders and teachers will use today and tomorrow to make plans and inform parents for as many children as is safely possible to return to school on Wednesday 6th January.
I fully appreciate that this causes added pressures and stress to all families – I am truly sorry about this and for the short notice communication of these plans.
Thank you for your support
Chief Executive Officer
The Sovereign Trust
We are following the advice of the Government, which can be found on their website:
We continue to emphasise with both staff and pupils the importance of handwashing and hygiene, in line with the guidance about how best to prevent the spread of infection. We are taking opportunities to reinforce these messages regularly and to encourage staff and pupils to wash their hands at regular points throughout the school day.
If you have a query about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to schools and other educational establishments, and children's social care, in England contact the Department for Education helpline.
Helpline Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday: from 10am to 4pm
Phone: 0800 046 8687
The Department for Education have translated their Guidance for Parents and Carers with Children in Nursery, School, or College in the Autumn Term. The Guidance is now available in the following languages: