Help & advice


Retired members conference Advice
Older teachers

This advice considers a number of health and social issues which may affect older school staff and suggests sources of further information and support.

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Mobile phone photography

This advice focuses on the potential of mobile phone photography to lead to bullying and harassment of others within the school community.

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The NEU Case Against Academisation

Academisation is driving down staff pay, terms and conditions, alienating communities and has caused the fragmentation of the education system. Despite this, English schools are still being put under pressure to become academies and to join multi-academy trusts (MATs).

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Converting Schools to Academies – Know Your Rights

The Government continues to promote its academy agenda, encouraging and compelling schools to become academies as part of multi-academy trusts (MATs). This document sets out the circumstances under which this happens, and the legal rights and arguments that can be made to resist academisation.

Menopause checklist Advice
Menopause guide and checklist for leaders

NEU leadership members are key to supporting women going through the menopause in the workplace. As a leader, you’re not alone. Collaboration between leaders, governors, workplace reps, health and safety reps and a staff support network can go a long way towards creating a supportive environment for women experiencing menopause symptoms at work.

Menopause checklist Advice
Menopause guide and checklist for reps

The menopause is an occupational health issue for women educators, as well as being an equality issue. It is important that schools and colleges are suitable workplaces for menopausal women. The purpose of this guide and checklist for reps is to signpost you to advice, and to support you in improving workplace conditions for menopausal women.

menopause Advice
Working through the menopause

The purpose of this guidance is to suggest practical ways in which the school and college environment can be improved for women who are going through the menopause.

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Residential teachers

Pay and conditions for teachers in residential establishments are aligned with those in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) and Burgundy Book, other than the following allowances and pay scales for pay scales for allowances.

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Flexible working

Your rights to ask for flexible working, i.e. a change in your terms and conditions relating to the hours you work, the times you work or whether you work at home for all or part of the week. You are encouraged to take informal steps before using the statutory procedure.

Two women hugging Advice

This guide explains the Prevent duty and its implications for school and college staff.

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Childcare Disqualification

The purpose of this document is to summarise the childcare disqualification arrangements operating from 31 August 2018 for members in England.

Support staff workload advice Advice
Support staff workload in the state sector

NEU believes that the increase in the quantity and complexity of work for school support staff has now reached crisis point. This advice is designed to help those working in state and academy schools to deal with this unmanageable workload.

Support staff workload - independent sector Advice
Support staff workload in the independent sector

NEU believes that the increase in the quantity and complexity of work for school support staff has now reached crisis point. This advice is designed to help those working in independent schools to deal with this unmanageable workload.

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HLTAs and cover supervisors

NEU advice giving a brief synopsis of the advent of the Workload Agreement, and the ‘dos and don’ts’ for HLTAs and cover supervisors.

NEU members at 2018 Independent sector conference Advice
Umbrella and limited companies

Umbrella’ and ‘limited’ companies have been around for a while now, but they still retain the capacity to cause confusion. This guidance aims to de-mystify both concepts.

School Direct workshop Advice
Religion or belief discrimination

Who is protected from discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and the first steps you should take if you think you have been discriminated against at work.

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Age harassment

Who is protected from harassment on grounds of age and the first steps you should take if you think you are being subjected to such harassment.

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Age discrimination

Who is protected from age discrimination and the first steps you should take if you think you have been discriminated against at work.

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Sexual orientation harassment

Who is protected from harassment on grounds of sexual orientation, and the first steps you should take if you think you have been harassed at work.

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Transgender harassment

Who is protected from harassment on grounds of transgender status,and the first steps you should take if you think you have been harassed at work.

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Transgender discrimination

Who is protected from transgender discrimination, and the first steps you should take if you think you have been discriminated against at work.

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Sexual harassment

Who is protected from sexual harassment and the first steps you should take if you think you are being subjected to such harassment.

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Trade union victimisation

Trade union victimisation, who is protected from it and the first steps you should take if you think you have been victimised at work.

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Disability harassment

The legal definition of harassment on grounds of disability, who is protected and the first steps you should take if you think you are being subjected to such harassment.

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Disability discrimination

The legal definition of disability discrimination, who is protected and the first steps you should take if you think you have been discriminated against at work.

Woman sneezing Advice
Tuberculosis in Schools

This briefing gives information about tuberculosis (TB) and steps to be taken when cases arise in schools among students or teachers.

stressed woman Advice
Sex discrimination

The legal definitions of sex discrimination, who is protected and the first steps you should take if you think you have been discriminated against at work.

Stressed School Teacher Advice
Workload and working time

The purpose of this advice is to summarise teachers’ conditions of service, as set out in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).

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Racial Harassment

The legal definition of racial harassment, who is protected and the first steps you should take if you think you are being subjected to racial harassment.

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Race discrimination

The legal definitions of race discrimination, who is protected, and the first steps you should take if you think you have been discriminated against at work.

Climate change Advice
Climate change action

Answers to questions about the Global School Strikes, including student strike action. Heads and principals should follow usual procedures and guidance.

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Medical Reports

Some of the most common issues arising in relation to medical reports prepared by GPs, occupational health physicians and other health professionals on behalf of employers, pension scheme trustees and health insurers.

Filling in a Coloring Book Advice
School Direct trainee teachers

The National Education Union has produced this 22-point checklist as a guide for School Direct trainee teachers setting out the minimum expectations for their teacher training year.

Science lesson Advice
Work Equipment

Employers must seek to ensure, again ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’, that non-employees are not exposed to risks to their health or safety.

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NEU evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body

The latest NEU evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body, which is reviewing teacher pay in England, sets out our case for a fully-funded pay increase for all teacher points and allowances of 5% in September 2019, for further pay increases to restore the cuts in teacher pay since 2010 and for an urgent review to establish appropriate pay for teachers for the long term.

Senior Couple Enjoy the Beach Advice
Career average pension

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme will provide much of your retirement income so it is vital that you understand it. This guidance covers the career average section of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) in which most members are accruing pension.

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Social media and online safety

Advice on how to stay safe online and protect your online reputation, and information about commonly used social media sites and how their misuse might have implications in schools and colleges.

Class discussion with teacher and four students Advice
Phased return to work

Returning to work after a long illness can be daunting. A well-supported phased return can make the process easier. This guidance describes what a phased return to work is, how it operates and answers common queries.

Patient in consultation with a doctor Advice
Fit notes

Doctors issue fit notes to provide evidence of advice they have given to patients about their fitness to work. They record details of the effects of the patient’s condition so that the patient and employee can consider ways to facilitate a return to work where appropriate.

Female teacher helping male pupil Advice

How cover for absent teachers should be organised, what protections exist and addresses frequently asked questions.

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Pay appeals

Advice on identifying the grounds for a pay appeal and on how members might run a successful pay appeal

Teacher and SEND pupil using a tablet computer Advice
TLR payments and other allowances

Advice on Teaching & Learning Responsibility Payments (TLRs) and other allowances such as Special Educational Needs allowances and Recruitment and Retention payments.

Filling in a Coloring Book Advice
Supply teachers - pay, conditions and working time

What should I expect to be paid as an agency supply teacher? What should I be paid for supply work of less than a day in duration? What happens if a school wants to offer me a permanent job? These and many other key questions are covered in this introductory guide to supply teaching.

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Unattached teachers

This guidance summarises the position in respect of pay and conditions for unattached teachers employed by local authorities.

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Starting pay on appointment

This guidance is aimed at new teachers and those returning to teaching service after a break. It explains the basics of the pay structure and gives advice on ensuring you are fairly paid and able to seek the most favourable use of pay discretions.

Two women discussing a document Advice

Appraisal is particularly important because it affects decisions on your pay. This guidance aims to answer the most common queries NEU members have on appraisal. You should read this guide in conjunction with your school/college appraisal policy.

Money Advice
Pay scales 2018-19

The joint union pay scales show the impact of the uplift to the teachers’ pay ranges for 2018-19, when applied to the individual pay points on those ranges recommended in our joint advice for 2017-18.

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State pension

Information about the single-tier state pension and changes to the state retirement age.

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Different pension schemes available

In whatever capacity you work in education, there is likely to be an occupational scheme available for you to join and you may have automatic membership as soon as you are employed.

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Final salary pension

Information about the final salary section of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), including how to find out if you are in this TPS section.

Group of children screaming during storytelling Advice
Voice care for teachers

Advice for teachers on voice care, including spotting problems, simple preventative measures and information on how and when to seek appropriate specialist help

Stressed teacher with multiple coffee cups Advice
Tackling stress

Excessive workload and working hours are continually cited by teachers as one of the main causes of their workplace stress. This advice explains how to tackle stress at a local level in your workplace.

Student Listening To Teacher Reading Book At Table Advice
Private tuition

It is common for teachers to offer private tuition to students. Before doing so, there are several important issues to consider, such as legal and insurance protection and health and safety issues.

Father and baby girl Advice

Your entitlements and responsibilities under UK legislation on paternity leave and pay.

Transgender Pride flag pattern overlay Advice
Supporting trans and gender questioning students

In the last few years there has been much work done, raising awareness and increasing the visibility of transgender issues. This advice aims to helps school and college staff support gender variant or questioning students in the educational environment.

Two lesbian girls holding hands and rainbow flag Advice
Equality toolkit

This toolkit is aimed at school representatives and teacher governors in all schools and FE colleges, including independent schools in England and Wales. It will also be a useful resource for Division Secretaries and Equalities Officers.

Teacher And Pupil In School Computer Class Advice
It's just everywhere - sexism in schools

The results of UK Feminista and NEU’s groundbreaking study are clear: schools, education bodies and Government must take urgent action to tackle sexism in schools. "It's just everywhere" is a study on sexism in schools and how we tackle it.

Man writing on a blackboard Advice
Supply teacher rights

Supply teachers who are in a 'pool' maintained by a LA, those located through the school's own contacts, or part-timers who wish to temporarily increase their hours, are likely to be employees of the school or LA for their period of supply work.

Teacher helping a girl on a computer Advice
Support staff pay and conditions

Pay and conditions agreement for support staff - most LA schools use the local government pay scales to pay their support staff in conjunction with National Joint Council (NJC) terms and conditions.

Female teacher in informal meeting Advice
Health enquiries and applicants for work

This guidance is intended to clarify the circumstances in which existing and prospective employers are entitled to make enquiries about a worker’s health and dispel some of the myths which may give rise to discriminatory practice.

Group of school children raising hands in classroom Advice
Legal responsibilities

Like others on the way to gaining QTS, you may be feeling anxious about your legal position while in the classroom. This brief summary should help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Man packing up belongings into box Advice
Redundancy pay and entitlements

Advice explaining the payments and entitlements you may receive if your post becomes redundant. In any case where redundancy is threatened, specific advice and assistance is available and should be sought from your school/college rep or division/association/branch secretary.

Teacher in class in front of whiteboard Advice
Fixed-term contracts

The legal definitions of fixed-term or temporary contracts and what steps members should take if they believe that they have been treated less favourably or denied a permanent contract in breach of the fixed-term contract regulations.

Woman made redundant, carrying box of possessions Advice

Common questions that arise when a member of staff is selected for redundancy.

Private meeting between teachers Advice

The legal protection provided and union support available to members who choose to blow the whistle on employers.

girls running a race Advice
Sun safety

How schools can help protect pupils from sun exposure and advice around sunscreen.

Hand held supportively Advice
Work and suicide

If someone is threatening imminent suicide call 999 and stay with them until the emergency services arrive.

Bullied teacher in front of a computer Advice
Stress risk assessment

A stress risk assessment is a careful examination of what in a workplace could cause staff to suffer from work-related stress, so that you can weigh up whether you have done enough, or should do more to prevent harm.

Primary school exterior Advice
Standards for school premises (Wales)

There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools in Wales. This briefing identifies those which will be most relevant and the areas which they cover.

School building exterior Advice
Standards for school premises (England)

There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools. This briefing identifies those which will be most relevant and the areas which they cover.

Close up of fire sprinkler Advice
The case for sprinklers in schools

Every year, many schools are damaged or destroyed by fires, affecting the education of thousands of pupils, and causing millions of pounds worth of damage. The impact of fires is significantly reduced by fitting sprinklers in schools.

Building in primary Class with their Teacher Advice
Space requirements in classrooms

Overcrowding is a common problem in classrooms. Unfortunately, there are no legal minimum space requirements specifying classroom dimensions. There are, however, a number of legal provisions and sources of guidance that can be drawn upon in challenging cramped teaching areas

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School visits

Advice about health and safety on school trips, including legal rights and obligations.

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School security

Advice about school security, in particular at security arrangements and methods to deal with intruders.

school stairs in a modern building Advice
Employment rights in the further education sector

Details of your statutory rights as an employee in the Further education sector. In some cases your contract will provide you with better terms and conditions and, if this is the case, those better terms and conditions will apply.

Female teacher tutoring boy at home Advice
Lone working

As teachers and school staff often work on their own, there are some key health and safety issues that employers must consider.

Close up of audience Advice
Trade union recognition

Trade union recognition is a formal agreement with an employer for a particular union to undertake collective bargaining on behalf of that employer's staff.

Singing In Music Lesson Advice
Pay in the independent sector

As private businesses outside the national collective bargaining structure in the maintained sector, independent schools have greater freedom to set their own terms and conditions of employment.

Group of students study diligently in university library while a professor helps them understand the difficult concepts Advice
Tackling workload together

Our workload guidance will help you identify tasks or activities which are unnecessary, have no education benefit and cause the most stress.

Hand washing Advice
Hygiene control in schools

Advice on the appropriate hygiene procedures for schools which will help to prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis A, B and C, and conditions such as dysentery.

Girl being vaccinated Advice
Hepatitis in schools

Advice on what precautions to take when a case of viral hepatitis arises in a school or where a known carrier of the disease is a pupil in the school.

Child with epilepsy having a seizure Advice
Epilepsy in schools

Advice on how to deal with epilepsy and seizures in schools, including how to recognise when a pupil might be having a seizure.

Group of school children raising hands in classroom Advice
Facts about asbestos in schools

At least 86 per cent of schools contain asbestos, all of it old and much of it deteriorating. Unless your school was wholly built after 1999, it is extremely likely that it contains asbestos.

School building Advice
Asbestos in schools

Advice on dealing with asbestos problems in schools, including the law on asbestos removal and management in schools.

social media Advice
Social media

Tips for trainee members on using social media responsibly, including student contact on social media and privacy.

Children putting their hands up in the classroom Advice
The role of a mentor

Advice for trainee members on the role of a mentor, how to work best with your mentor and what to do if you feel you are not being supported.

Section of a school teachers pay slip Advice
Winning pay appeals

This guide gives advice on securing pay progression by persuading governors not to accept a recommendation to deny pay progression or by appealing successfully against a decision to deny progression.

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Securing pay progression

This is a guide on steering a course through your appraisal and the pay decision process to ensure that you can secure pay progression.

Students learning computer programming Advice
Computer safety

Guidance on health and safety precautions for teachers and pupils working with information and communications technology (ICT) equipment.

Dust particles Advice
Dust in schools

Advice on what employers need to do to protect staff from the problems caused by wood dust and MDF dust.

empty parking spaces outside school Advice
School car parks

Frequently asked questions in relation to staff car parking on school premises. It includes information on provision of school car parks, charges for car parking, car park safety and malicious damage to cars.

Abstract polygons Advice
Organising for international solidarity

Solidarity is a key trade union value. The NEU stands in solidarity with the many teachers around the world who are unable to carry out their vocation as they languish in prison, simply because they are trade unionists.

diabetes Advice
Diabetes in schools

Information and guidance for school staff to support the uninterrupted education of children with diabetes.

Disabled woman in a wheelchair Advice
Reasonable adjustments at work

The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to premises or working practices to ensure that employees are not disadvantaged because of their disability.

Meeting with management Advice
Meetings with management

Practical tips to help when asked to attend an urgent meeting with the head or principal at short notice without being given an agenda or an indication of its purpose

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Notice periods

This guidance sets out the obligations of employers and employees in relation to notice periods and notice pay.

Working from home Advice
Making work fit

The duty to make reasonable adjustments requires school and college leaders to proactively identify barriers (both physical and attitudinal) to the inclusion of disabled people in the workplace.

Pregnant woman in a blue dress sitting down Advice
Maternity rights

As well as statutory maternity rights, most teachers are also covered by the maternity rights scheme for teachers, set out in the Burgundy Book national agreement on conditions of service.

Female teacher giving homework back Advice

What to expect from classroom observations as a trainee teacher, including feedback, professional reviews and formal assessment meetings.

Teacher laughing with secondary school pupils Advice
Induction checklist

What you should know before you start your induction, the support you should expect during the induction programme, your timetable, raising concerns and professional development.

Primary school girl explaining her work to her teacher Advice
Managing behaviour

Advice for trainees on managing behaviour in the classroom, including physical and social contact and infatuations.

Three secondary school pupils building DNA model Advice
Lesson planning

Advice for trainee members on lesson planning, timing and pacing, and tips on how to save time.

Little girls use abacus during preschool Advice
Pay scales 2017-18

Details of the recommended NEU pay scales for teachers and leaders, which we wish to see all schools adopt.

Marking Advice
Workload : marking

The Independent Teacher Workload Review Groups were established by the DfE to report on, and suggest solutions to, unnecessary burdens associated with marking, planning and data management.

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