Non co-operation with ETI includes school level 'quasi' inspections. Our advice is that non co-operation should extend to any measure of pre-inspection preparation, even benign pre-inspection training, or guidance sessions. This type of activity is becoming more and more common in schools and has the ability to increase the already high level of workload placed on members. 

In the event of your school being notified of an inspection, members are advised as follows: 

Members are advised NOT to: 

  • Hand over any documentation to the ETI, e.g. school development and class planners, schemes, action plans, policies, pupils’ books, assessments, data, etc;
  • Discuss any issues relating to the school/teachers/pupils/areas of responsibility or education in general;
  • Teach in front of ETI;
  • Complete teacher questionnaires;
  • Distribute parent questionnaires.

If an inspector enters your classroom you should

  • Treat the inspector in a professional and courteous manner;
  • You will cease to teach, but will continue to supervise the children as normal;
  • Inform the inspector that you are an NEU member and in line with NEU industrial action you have withdrawn your co-operation with the ETI; 
  • If the inspector insists on remaining in your classroom (seeking, e.g. to talk to pupils, look at wall displays, look at books, noting “work set” by teachers), simply supervise as normal and remain professional at all times. 

NB This matter is under active consideration by the union’s Action Committee and, should a more invasive form of inspection persist, escalation of our lawful industrial action may result. 

Below is a statement that could be presented to any visiting inspector:  

“I am a member of NEU, and following a ballot for legitimate and lawful industrial action, I have been advised by my Union that I am not to co-operate with ETI at present. I have been advised to cease teaching in your presence; however, I will continue to supervise the children as normal” 
Alternatively, please print out and hand over this guidance to the visiting inspector. 

There are no exceptions in respect to schools who are already in formal intervention. 

Guidance to NEU Principals 

Inform ETI that you and any NEU members within your school will not be co-operating with the inspections. Do not participate in any meeting prior to or during the inspection with members of ETI. If you require any advice or support in relation to this action, please contact the NEU Regional Office. If desired, we can put you in touch with another NEU Principal. 

Other (non-NEU) Principals 

All principals, who are not in NEU and therefore unable to take part in this industrial action are asked to observe trade union protocols and not to do anything to undermine the actions of teachers on legitimate industrial action, i.e. not to pass on data, plans, schemes, pupils’ books, etc. relating to teachers taking industrial action. 

NEU assures all members that if and when this industrial action ends we will give appropriate notice to members to enable them to prepare for postponed inspections. 

To keep up-to-date with NEU's Industrial Action Campaign please visit NEU Northern Ireland.