Teaching assistant "scared" to work as she is "ignored" over Covid concerns

5 November 2020, 13:09 | Updated: 5 November 2020, 13:13

By Fiona Jones

This teaching assistant told James O'Brien she is "scared" to go into school because social distancing is "impossible" and she has been "ignored" by her superiors over Covid concerns.

"A teacher can stand at the front of the class, but as a teaching assistant I have to go through all the rows of children, and the rule is two metres apart but it is extremely hard to be two metres apart, especially from a special needs child," Susan in Leeds told LBC.

If you are not near the children helping them, there is pressure to help them and be nearer, she said.

"As for bubbles, it's a nonsense but actually I'm in about seven bubbles," Susan said, "they're called bubbles but actually what it is I have the same classes which I've always had...but it's called a bubble.

"If someone's away I have to step in for them."

Susan told James she has raised these concerns but she is "ignored" because "they don't want to spend the extra money getting staff" due to the budgets and cuts.

"I can tell you all my colleagues just don't want to be at school, everyone is scared. You would be because there's no social distancing," she said, telling James that she is "very upset."

"I'm in the older age group, so I'm even more vulnerable, and I'm overweight so I'm vulnerable again...it's certainly very very concerning," Susan said.

She said that her instincts are at war because she wants to go over to a child and help them but equally she must think about her health and the health of her family.