As front-line workers, we should not be expected to risk our lives to teach. UCU and the NEU have called on the government to include schools, colleges and universities in the lockdown and move to a remote model of teaching and learning, for all but essential provision. As the DFE has noted, ‘A significant risk associated with FE is the potential to facilitate wider transmission between households and workplace settings, by providing greater connectivity within a community.’ If the education sector is not moved online, the lockdown will be less effective and may need to last longer. Government guidance currently states that “universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible”.
We therefore call upon management
- to allow all staff in vulnerable categories and all staff who live with a person in a vulnerable category to be able to teach online immediately, with full pay
- to reopen Regents Park Centre to create more space and therefore a safer environment as Covid-19 cases rise
- to declare a dispute with management with the intent of escalating to industrial action if there is any attempt to increase the amount of face-to-face teaching currently taking place within each curriculum area of the college.
- at a minimum, to remain with the blended learning proportions that each area is currently using. There should be no increase in face-to-face provision while we are in the midst of this pandemic.