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UCU statement on death of teacher at Burnley College

11 February 2021

Sadly, Donna Coleman, a longstanding UCU member, who worked with vulnerable students at Burnley College died last month (Wednesday 6 January 2021) after contracting Covid. She was 42 years old and leaves behind friends and family.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'We are all angry and devastated about the loss of Donna. Her passing will be deeply felt by her family, her students and her wider community. Too many workers, including those in post-16 education, have lost their lives to Covid. These deaths are not inevitable. UCU will continue to fight to keep our members safe, and for employers and the government to protect their health and safety.'

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'Donna's death is an appalling tragedy and we are supporting her family at this difficult time. UCU is investigating the circumstances that led to Donna's death, including whether she contracted Covid through her work at Burnley College. Unfortunately, the college is refusing to disclose whether it knows if it has had any Covid outbreaks. Prior to Donna's death we had rejected the college's risk assessments because of their poor Covid controls. We have also raised our health and safety concerns with the college and with the Health and Safety Executive, the government body that polices workplace safety.'

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