"Work being done" to reassure worried teachers amid schools reopening

29 August 2020, 10:43 | Updated: 29 August 2020, 11:26

By Seán Hickey

An executive member of a teacher's union admitted there is "work being done" to reassure worried teachers on the safety of schools reopening.

Andrew Castle asked Jerry Glazier, National Executive member of the NEU "how nervous are teachers coming back," in the wake of new government advice on the reopening of schools this week.

"There is a considerable level of apprehension among quite a big sector of our members," the teacher confessed.

He added that the strain is seen especially in those who were previously self-isolating but revealed that "a lot of work is being done to reassure those teachers."

"Many teachers are worried and that's why we're calling for it to be permissible for teachers and support staff to wear face masks and I think very many of them are going to want to do that."

Andrew argued that "children aren't going to wear face masks," and he wondered what impact this will have on school leaders who are nervous about the reopening of schools.

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The union leader couldn't agree with Andrew's argument and noted that "if it helps reduce anxiety for students and staff then it's a positive thing."

He went on to suggest that if people aren't sure whether or not to wear a mask "they're going to have to get into the mode of doing this," in order to make the environment as comfortable as possible for both teachers and students.

"I don't think it's as impossible as some people might think," Mr Glazier suggested.