Safety First - Reopening of Schools – SSTA Survey

The SSTA conducted a survey of members prior to the reopening of schools to gauge the confidence of teachers returning to school. The survey received 2,615 responses and highlighted the concerns of members.

Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said “The survey showed the high lack of teacher confidence in schools and their employers to ensure their safety upon the reopening of schools. The survey showed that 40% of members were not confident about returning to work with only 7% of members very confident.  41% of members had no confidence in their employer ensuring that their workplace would be safe upon their return”.

“29% of members who responded identified as having an underlying health condition or as being a member of a vulnerable group, with 75% of these not being contacted by the employer prior to the return to work to carry out an individual risk assessment. These teachers are extremely worried that their employer is not taking the threat to their well-being seriously”.
“The survey highlighted the high number of teachers who were unaware of fundamental safety measures to be put in place in their workplaces such as risk assessments (85%), physical distancing measures (57%) and cleaning regimes (67%) introduced in their classrooms”
“When it came to cleaning classrooms 19% of teachers were being expected to clean their classrooms between classes whilst 24% expected that the pupils would be expected to carry out the task”

“Only 14% of members were aware that were to be allocated an individual work area with appropriate physical distancing and 39% expected to share ICT equipment with other members of staff”
“A major concern for members was the lack of a detailed pupil discipline policy that includes actions for pupils who refuse to adhere to physical distancing and safety measures (such as hand hygiene) with only 7% of members indicating such a policy was in place in their school”.
Appendix A – Survey Results.
Appendix B – Selection of Members Comments