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Union calls for more support for teachers with long Covid
EB News: 06/04/2021 - 12:25
The NASUWT union is calling for more supportive sickness policies for teachers and education staff with long Covid, after it has emerged that they are the profession with the second highest prevalence rate with the condition.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics show the prevalence of self-reported long COVID and shows that the teaching and education employment sector is second highest with 114,000 people suffering from the conditions, just behind the sector with the highest number of sufferers – healthcare workers on 122,000.
Improved access to ill-health retirement must also be given to provide financial protection for teachers who are too ill to work due to the impact of Covid-19.
The Union is demanding financial compensation for teachers and education staff who have been left unable to work as a result of Covid-19, as well as a financial compensation scheme for teachers who have contracted Covid as a result of working in school.
NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “The high incidence of Long Covid identified by the ONS is deeply concerning.
“Without periods of school closure in the past year, it is possible that the number of cases could be much higher.
“The number of teachers who may be affected with Covid-related long-term illness could be a ticking time-bomb.
“Teachers need to be supported by sickness management policies that are compassionate and recognise the complex and debilitating nature of Long Covid.
“Teachers experiencing Long Covid should not be made to live in fear of losing their jobs or of financial hardship if they are no longer able to do their jobs.
“The Government should consider regulations that ensure access to ill-health retirement provision for those with Long Covid.
“Ministers must, as a matter of urgency, provide financial compensation for all teachers, including supply teachers, where their careers have been impacted due to Covid-19.”
In Ipsos MORI’s latest KnowledgePanel poll, the most preferred options for catching up on lost learning from parents are to receive increased wellbeing support (56%) and additional tutoring sessions outside of school hours (55%).