Salford Supply Desk will require a COVID-19 risk assessment form returned before we can place any staff into school. This has been developed to inform Salford Supply Desk you are fit for work and fully understand the new procedures in place. This will help inform teachers and assistants about what they need to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their workplace.
Salford Supply Desk is committed to ensuring that each individual worker, including supply teachers and assistants, have the information they need in terms of health and safety and the obligations on local authorities, employers and employment businesses (i.e. supply agencies) during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the planning for the wider reopening of schools.
Who is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of a supply teacher?
Although supply teachers are not generally employed by the placement school (referred to as the ‘end user’ or ‘client’ in legislation), the school must ensure the safety of its temporary workers, such as supply teachers, as it does that of its own employees.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) places a responsibility on all employers to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees and non-employees in their workplace. This includes identifying and assessing risks to health and safety, and steps to reduce or eliminate these risks. This applies to COVID-19 in the same way as it would to any other hazard.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, a supply teacher being employed by an agency does not remove the school’s duties under the Act. Indeed, there is a joint responsibility between the provider (i.e. the supply agency) and the end user with regards to the health and safety of agency workers, such as supply teachers. Supply staff must therefore be treated exactly as permanently employed teachers with regards to health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Salford Supply Desk will satisfy itself that the school for which you are undertaking an assignment has taken appropriate steps to mitigate the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This risk assessment may differ across different schools, year groups and key stages and will be accessible to you in each school. Salford Supply Desk encourages our supply teachers and assistants to give enough time to fully familiarise themselves with the situation within the school.
It may be appropriate to liaise with a contact person to ensure that they can talk you through and familiarise you with the arrangements they have in place for contractors or temporary workers in the school.
This should include, but not be limited to:
• the overall risk assessment for the school;
• details regarding the arrangements for social distancing and how pupils are expected to be managed to ensure social distancing (e.g. classroom layouts and the expectations regarding equipment and resources);
• the arrangements for staff and pupils during breaks and lunchtimes, including the supervision of pupils in the context of social distancing;
• any subject-specific requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, including revised schemes of work and programmes of study you may be required to teach, including the provision and access to teaching materials and resources;
• the details of those pupils who will be on site and those you will be expected to teach, including those with special/additional educational support needs and those with individual risk assessments which you should be aware of;
• the revised school behaviour management policy that accounts for COVID-19 related incidents;
• the details of the staff in school, including a designated contact person, as appropriate;
• details on the provision and availability of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and where to locate and access hot water and soap, as well as the arrangements for the regular cleaning of touch surfaces throughout the day;
• details of the arrangements for school transport and the maintenance of social distancing, as appropriate.
Your duties as a supply teacher/assistant
Whilst SSD and the school have responsibilities in regards to your health and safety, you also have a duty to take reasonable care for your own health and safety and that of other people who may be affected by your actions at work, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You must co-operate with SSD and the school where you are working, including providing them with any information which may necessitate the provision of a risk assessment before you undertake an assignment with a school (If you are a teacher (If you are a teacher/assistant who is registered, See Salford Supply Desk COVID-19 Risk Assessment Form)