Covid is a huge concern for schools
There are currently an estimated 1500 new Long Covid cases daily in the UK (Nov 2021). With teachers, pupils and parents at high risk from Covid, the impact of Long Covid on schools is a huge cause for concern.
“Schools Struggling to Cope as Covid Wreaks Havoc”
(The Guardian, October 2021)
Of the one to two million people in the UK now living with Long Covid, teachers and education support staff are the second highest profession to be affected, only just behind healthcare workers. This is a huge concern as raised by the NASUWT teaching union.
Schools are struggling to stay open due to staff shortages and Long Covid is such as concern that the NASUWT has launched a campaign for it to be legally recognized as a disability (TES Article, June 2021).
It is essential that we give school staff the tools to help themselves recover and to work with their doctors, other clinicians or occupational health towards recovery and safe return to work. In partnership with the NHS, we have developed the LongCovidTracker App that does just that (further details here).
The App can be used by all Academy staff and their families.
Pupils and their families
Children and their parents are currently seeing the fastest rise in Covid cases in England (Long Covid Kids, 2021). Long Covid does not discriminate between staff, pupils and their families and neither do we. Using our App everyone can get access to the same support – pupils under 16 years old must be supervised by an adult.
Benefits of the App
The NHS is overwhelmed with record waiting lists and GP appointments are difficult to obtain and precious. This App maximizes the value of each appointment by providing clinicians with a detailed picture of symptoms to help diagnosis and treatment.
There are several helpful short films, by our clinical lead Keir Lewis (Professor of Respiratory Diseases), Dr Carl Brookes (Medical Director and Consultant Cardiologist) and patients.
There is no quick fix, and employers have an important role to play educating, supporting and assisting staff back into work, and if possible supporting communities.
Employees must do what they can to help themselves, including tracking their condition.