William Alvey School headteacher claims unions have been “unhelpful” during coronavirus pandemic

A Sleaford primary school headteacher has spoken out about the “unhelpful” behaviour of education unions at times during the coronavirus pandemic.
William Alvey School headteacher, Stephen Tapley.William Alvey School headteacher, Stephen Tapley.
William Alvey School headteacher, Stephen Tapley.

Via William Alvey School’s Twitter account, head Stephen Tapley commented: “In spirit I am a union man, but in reality - and it is only my experience/opinion and I even hate to say it - the education unions were incredibly unhelpful over the last 18 months.”

National teaching unions have at times spoken out with reservations about staff being put at risk when being asked to go back into classrooms to teach children during or between lockdowns.

Mr Tapley is not currently in a union, adding: “Getting different messages from different bodies, well intentioned or not, made it much harder, for me at least, to put the appropriate precautions in place and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the children at school. Everything was new so it is sometimes difficult to cast blame as such, but I do think we need to define the role of Lincolnshire County Council and the unions alongside that of the Department of Education.”