Guidance for school leaders
In this unprecedented time, parents cannot expect that their children will be accessing a normal timetable or individual support on a regular basis.
- The NEU recognises that school leaders are working hard under difficult circumstances to keep schools open for vulnerable and key worker pupils and to keep learning happeninThe NEU expects teachers’ workload not to be increased during this period and for all communication and workload to be negotiated and agreed with staff. It is not necessary for teachers to have daily interaction with pupils and parents. Teachers who are working will be focusing on the children in their care and/or working from home on resources.
- The NEU advises schools to create a system and protocol for communication with parents and teachers.
- The NEU advises schools to make available learning packs that require limited or no access to the internet.
- Schools must provide agreed platforms for staff to use and share information and resources, for example, Google Drive if the school is familiar with this.
- Any contact between pupils and teachers should only be through a platform provided by the school and not through personalised accounts open to public viewing, comments or sharing. The NEU advises staff not to use or exchange personal email addresses or phone numbers with pupils.
- Any equipment provided by the school is for work purposes only and there must be shared agreements in place for pupils and parents on what behaviour and contact is appropriate, with clear sanctions for misuse.
- Schools should suggest activities that children can complete on their own. We must recognise that many parents are also trying to work from home and parents might struggle to assist with schoolwork for a number of reasons. Parents cannot be expected to become teachers.
- Single parent families will struggle more to balance competing demands with schoolwork, and families with pre-school children will spend more time interacting with and supervising children.
- A maximum of two to three hours of “work” per day is plenty and will keep minds active but enthusiastic. Getting children to help with household activities such as washing, cooking and gardening are educational, as is watching some “good” TV or online streams, such as documentaries and drama.