Schools/Early Years Update – Coronavirus

Section 44 Update

This is the latest advice from National Schools Sector following their meeting on Thursday 7th January.

The use of section 44 is once again a backstop – we used it on a blanket basis because of the situation faced. Now we are encouraging branches to seek to negotiate with employers and use normal industrial relations procedures and section 44 returns to being a last resort.

However if employers don’t amend their risk assessments, change procedures, get rid of risk, and grievance processes don’t work and we get to the last resort of s44 – then the bulk of the letter we produced is fine – but what members will need to do is make it clear that this is a new request and that they are absolutely doing it at their own instigation at the start of the letter.


Guidance on Early Years Provision (08/01/2021)

As far as we can tell there is little or no change to the existing guidance and nothing about increased risks and rates of infection. It would appear that settings are able to operate to the same standards as they were in September when infection rates were far lower and we weren’t dealing with the new variant.

The only significant change is the revised information on the CJRS and that CEV staff should not be in work.

UNISON will draft some further guidance shortly.

UNISON are currently campaigning and lobbying to get all EY provisions closed in line with school closures.

Please sign this petition to shut all nurseries and early years settings during lockdown.


In the meantime please use the following links for the latest updates:

Unison in Schools Facebook Page

UNISON National Website – Schools Page

UNISON Birmingham Branch Facebook Page