Letter in full - Wording of letter 16 Leeds school staff sent to headteacher as reopening delayed

A total of 16 staff sent a letter to a headteacher of a Leeds primary school on Sunday "exercising their rights not to teach" - which will now not reopen as planned on Monday.

Sunday, 3rd January 2021, 6:08 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd January 2021, 6:14 pm

Gildersome Primary School alerted parents to a letter sent out from headteacher Caroline Hoyle on Sunday.

The school posted on Facebook: "All parents have been emailed a letter today with regard to the opening of school tomorrow. Please ensure you check your emails as a matter of urgency."

Mrs Hoyle, headteacher of the school, said in the letter that she had "received an email signed from 16 staff, the majority of staff whom are teachers stating that they are exercising their right not to teach full classes as from tomorrow".

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A total of 16 staff sent a letter to a headteacher of a Leeds primary school on Sunday "exercising their rights not to teach" - which will now not reopen as planned on Monday.

The letter from staff said attending the school would "present a serious and imminent danger" to their health and safety.

The letter in full sent to the headteacher by the staff reads: "(As the Head Teacher, I) have legal duties to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff and pupils.

"Those duties arise under the following legislation: - • Sections 2 and 3 of the Health & Safety Act 1974 • Regulations 3 and 8 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 • Regulation 4 of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 • Regulation 4 of the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 • Regulation 7 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

"The most recent advice from SAGE is that schools should not open in January1 other than for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

"This is because the scientific advice is that it is not safe for schools to open.

"There are new variants of Covid-19 that are highly infectious and infection rates have increased significantly since schools closed.

"We appreciate that measures have been in place since September to allow the school to open but according to SAGE those measures may no longer be sufficient.

"They state in their most recent report: - The introduction of Tier 4 measures in England combined with the school holidays will be informative of the strength of measures required to control the new variant but analysis of this will not be possible until mid January.

"Based on the above we do not believe that it is safe for us to return to teaching full classes at Gildersome Primary School.

"If we do attend Gildersome Primary School we believe that this will present a serious and imminent danger to our health and safety.

"We are therefore writing to inform you that we are exercising our contractual right not to attend an unsafe place of work."