Here is a selection of updated FAQs following the announcement from the First Minister that schools are to move to remote learning for the majority of pupils:

 

Q1. How do I book a COVID-19 test?

Q2. I am a teacher who is pregnant/previously shielding/clinically vulnerable, what should now happen to me?

Q3. I wish to wear a face covering but have been told by my HT that this is not professional and not acceptable, is that correct? 

Q4. How can I teach my class and still maintain social distancing?

Q5. How do I raise my concerns about the mitigations (safety measures, precautions) being put in place?

Q6. I am required to self-isolate due to being contacted by Test and Protect. Will I get paid for my time off work if I cannot work from home?

Q7. What happens if there is a case of Covid-19 at our school? 

Q8. I am concerned about going back to school because of additional risk to me from Covid-19 due to my ethnicity, what should I do?

Q9. What are the rules for NCCT teachers?

Q10. What are the rules on movement for peripatetic/temporary/supply teachers/Educational Psychologists/Instrumental Music Teachers?

Q11. I am a supply teacher and have a contract for January, should I be expected/permitted to work?

Q12. I am a supply teacher but did not have a contract for work in January, will I be entitled to any financial support in the same way as I was during the March 2020 Lockdown?

Q13. Should I be going into school at all during the lockdown period?

Q14. I was previously shielding during the March 2020 Lockdown, what happens now?

Q15. If I am working in school what happens to my children?

Q16. If I am teaching in school should I also be expected to carry out support for pupils who are engaging in remote learning?

Q17. Does the EIS provide any advice on keeping well while working at home?

 

Q1. How do I get a COVID-19 Test?

Teachers who are asymptomatic and wish to be tested are advised to contact their Headteacher as asymptomatic testing is arranged via the employer. These procedures are subject to change but Headteachers should be able to advise on the process or contact HR for further information. For symptomatic tests the normal NHS procedures should be followed: https://www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-access-to-testing-for-coronavirus

 

Q2. I am a teacher who is pregnant/previously shielding/clinically vulnerable, what should now happen to me?

Your employer should contact you and begin a discussion about return to school, and individual risk assessment, the outcome of this may be that working from home is continued. The Scottish Government’s guidelines must be followed and employers are required to be supportive and understanding of individual circumstances. Members in this situation should contact their LA Secretary if advice or support is required from the EIS. Please also see our flowchart for guidance.

 

Q3. I wish to wear a face covering but have been told by my HT that this is not professional and not acceptable, is that correct? 

All staff and pupils in schools are allowed to wear face coverings whilst in schools. In addition, where social distancing is not possible for adults the adults are required to wear face coverings at those time.

 

Q4. How can I teach my class and still maintain social distancing?

There will be many changes needed in the coming year and the EIS is working to produce resources to assist with this. The Covid risk assessments should consider working patterns and practices and try to minimise times where social distancing is not possible. When social distancing is not possible face coverings are required.

 

Q5. How do I raise my concerns about the mitigations (safety measures, precautions) being put in place?

Teachers should be consulted on the risk assessments both directly and through the EIS Rep. Concerns can be raised directly with school management and/or with the EIS Rep.  If further support is needed the EIS Local Association will be providing that support to schools and will be able to raise issues at Local Authority level.

 

Q6. I am required to self-isolate due to being contacted by Test and Protect. Will I get paid for my time off work if I cannot work from home?

Yes, the SNCT Handbook makes provision for this:

"Infectious Diseases: 6.34 An employee who is prevented from attending the place of employment because of contact with notifiable infectious diseases, shall advise the council immediately and shall be entitled to full pay during absence. A period of absence, in this case, should not be reckoned against his/her entitlement to sickness allowance."

 

Q7. What happens if there is a case of Covid-19 at our school? 

Emergency measures at school level must be followed, as is set-out in the risk assessment. Test & Protect would take place and the control of a potential outbreak would be managed under guidance of Public Health Scotland. The EIS Rep should be consulted on all health and safety issues.

 

Q8. I am concerned about going back to school because of additional risk to me from Covid-19 due to my ethnicity, what should I do?

You should discuss your concerns with your Head Teacher, and an individual risk assessment should be carried out as required under Scottish Government advice.

Additional EIS advice is available.

Please also see our flowchart for guidance.

 

Q9. What are the rules for NCCT teachers? 

The Scottish Government guidance states that the movement of NCCT teachers between classes "is permitted but should be minimised wherever possible. Schools should be encouraged to follow SNCT and LNCT guidance on how flexibility of time over a 2 or 4 week period may help to reduce movement of staff across classes."

The risk assessment should consider this and the aim should be reducing the number of contacts for teachers to as low as reasonably practicable.

 

Q10. What are the rules on movement for peripatetic/temporary/supply teachers/Educational Psychologists/Instrumental Music Teachers?

Movement between schools (e.g. of temporary/supply/peripatetic staff etc) should be kept to a minimum. The guidance recommends that "every effort should be made to secure these wider inputs through lower risk methods such as digital/virtual means or outdoor settings." Risk assessments need to be in place for the safe delivery of all activities and school risk assessments should consider safety precautions in place for all "visitors" to the school.

 

Q11. I am a supply teacher and have a contract for January, should I be expected/permitted to work?

All existing contracts should be honoured. If you are not provided with the work promised please contact your LA Secretary to seek further assistance.

 

Q12. I am a supply teacher but did not have a contract for work in January, will I be entitled to any financial support in the same way as I was during the March 2020 Lockdown?

The EIS is raising this as an issue with Scottish Government and COSLA and within the SNCT. However, at present there is no commitment to a payment being made available to supply staff who do not have any contracted work.

 

Q13. Should I be going into school at all during the lockdown period?

Teachers may be required to go into school to provide teaching to children of keyworkers and vulnerable children. Local arrangements should be in place to ensure that this is done on a fair basis and taking into consideration individual circumstances.  If you have concerns over what is happening in your school you should discuss these with your Headteacher or EIS Representative in the first instance.

 

Q14. I was previously shielding during the March 2020 Lockdown, what happens now?

The arrangements for you are the same as previously applied. All people who are again required to shield should do so and should not be asked/instructed to go into the workplace under any circumstances. Remote working arrangements must be facilitated.

Please also see our flowchart for guidance.

 

Q15. If I am working in school what happens to my children?

As a keyworker your children should be provided with a place in their school or early years setting. 

 

Q16. If I am teaching in school should I also be expected to carry out support for pupils who are engaging in remote learning?

No, the EIS has been clear that teachers cannot be both teaching in school and providing support for pupils engaging in remote learning at the same time.  Please see our guide to remote learning for further information and advice.

 

Q17. Does the EIS provide any advice on keeping well while working at home?

Yes, resources are available on our website and our Working At Home Guidance is in the process of being updated and will be added to the website soon.