Help & advice


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Decolonising education

Rebuilding a school system that supports all students, staff and teachers and is responsive to the particular needs of each and every child.

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Health and safety in independent schools

This briefing summarises the basic framework of health and safety law in the context of independent schools; and in particular the pivotal role played by NEU health and safety representatives in upholding safety standards in the workplace.

Health and safety procedures Advice
Use of CO2 monitors

Your employer should be monitoring readings from all the CO2 monitors in your school. See our tips on how to make the most effective use of CO2 monitors.

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Model policy checklist to help you negotiate a CCTV policy acceptable to the union.

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Pay equality FAQs

FAQs on pay scale, allowances for additional responsibilities and pay progression to help understand how teacher pay works.

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Directed time advice for governors

The National Education Union is campaigning to ensure that all teachers have a negotiated directed time calendar and that workload conversations happen with all staff this summer term.

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Coronavirus: vaccination

The NEU strongly urges all members who are able to receive the COVID vaccine to take it. Here are frequently asked questions on vaccination for education staff.

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Data protection for workplace reps

As a union representative (Rep) you are implicitly agreeing to abide by the Union’s responsibilities to data protection. This guide highlights the core of your responsibilities.

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TPS age discrimination FAQs - February 2021

The Government has announced its decision on how to deal with age discrimination issues in Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). The issue and its solution affect pension arrangements for the vast majority of serving teachers.

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Back care - awareness and prevention

This advice sets out how to spot hazards in low/“child” height working environments, and includes simple practical measures to prevent and reduce, pain, strain and injury.

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Teachers’ time budget arrangements

As negotiated by NEU along with colleague in the NITC, until individual time budgets are in place, no teacher should be directed to work more than 32.4 hours in a single week.

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Guidance for results days in 2020

In any normal year there can be great anxiety for students, parents, carers and education staff in and around results day. This year will be no different but will have the added complexity of the extraordinary situation for awarding grades, appeals and entries into the autumn series.

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Create Box

Not all home learning environments are equal. Put together Create Boxes for children in your school.

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What is TUPE about?

TUPE is shorthand for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection and Employment) Regulations 2006, a legal framework around which you can involve and engage members to act collectively to protect and advance their rights as they transfer to a new employer.

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Preparing for transfer to an Academy

The process of transferring staff from one employer to another (eg an academy) is governed by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 ( TUPE).

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Photographic policies

NEU Guidance for Members, Reps and Local Officers around the development and implementation of photograpic policies in schools

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Relationships at Work - Model Policy

From time to time, personal relationships may exist or develop between work colleagues. This model policy is designed to help NEU members manage expectations to ensure such situations are dealt with fairly and consistently.

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LGBT+ inclusion: LGBT+ members

It is often the most unpleasant voices that we hear the loudest and whether you are out at work or not, it can be extremely isolating being a lone LGBT+ staff member.

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LGBT+ inclusion: members

LGBT+ inclusion involves reviewing the curriculum and lesson plans across all subjects to eliminate heteronormative bias, and ensure sexual orientations and gender identities are represented.

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Drug and alcohol- model policy

This policy forms part of the employer’s overall commitment to safety, good employee relations and the promotion of health, safety and welfare at work.

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Life Balance for Teachers - Model Policy

All teachers, including head teachers are entitled to enjoy a reasonable work/life balance. This policy is designed to ensure that all teachers are able to balance their working lives with their other commitments.

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Disciplinary model policy

This policy is designed to help and encourage all NEU members to achieve and maintain appropriate standards of behaviour and conduct

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School closures

The purpose of this document is to provide brief advice to members if they are told that their school is due to close.

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Lesson observation in FE Colleges

This guidance outlines NEU best practice models for both the conduct of lesson observations and the Teaching and Learning Observation System (TLOS) framework within which they are conducted.

Checklist Advice
Special Leave Model Policy - Checklist

The model policy sets out a full range of situations for which leave may be required and which should be covered in any policy, together with recommendations on levels of paid and unpaid leave.

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Redundancy in the FE sector (for reps)

Redundancy has unfortunately become a fact of life for education staff in recent years. This guidance is for workplace reps about redundancy and the consultation process that NEU’s FE members whose posts are at risk should expect.

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Constructive dismissal

This guidance provides NEU members with a basic understanding of constructive dismissal, and the pros and cons of claiming constructive dismissal.

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Restructuring in FE Colleges

When colleges are going through restructuring members understandably look to their union for support and advice. This guidance is intended to assist NEU college reps in dealing with the issue and ensuring that restructures are carried out fairly and transparently.

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The NEU is here to support members whatever the circumstances that lead to a disciplinary procedure and potential dismissal.

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Deregulation of FE teaching

NEU believes deregulation strikes at the heart of teaching professionalism in FE. It will do nothing to boost low morale and could herald further attacks on pay and conditions alongside further rises in duties and workload.

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DBS Checks

This guidance is intended for NEU members to address issues which commonly arise in relation to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

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NEU Grievance Model Policy

This model policy outlines procedures to help NEU members resolve grievances relating to their employment as quickly and as fairly as possible.

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Grievance Procedures Model Policy - Checklist

This checklist should be used alongside the NEU’s model policy on grievances to help negotiate an acceptable policy. Where everything on this checklist cannot be secured, members must be consulted on whether the proposed policy is sufficiently positive to be acceptable.

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Special Leave Model Policy

The aim of this model policy on special leave is to provide a framework that schools can adopt to enable employees to request reasonable time off for a variety of personal, domestic, family, civic and public duties which impact on their working lives.

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Attendance Management

NEU guidance for members who are unable to work due to illness and assist them back in to work as quickly as it is possible.

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Fire safety

This briefing sets out NEU advice on the requirements of the fire legislation covering schools and on fire safety precautions to be followed in schools. It takes account of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

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Keeping happy and healthy

This guidance document is aimed at NEU members who are worried that their mental health is suffering because of the demands of their work. It will also be of use to NEU members who are considering returning to work following a spell of absence due to a mental health condition.

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Safety of school minibuses

This page outlines the key legal requirements for drivers and operators of school minibuses and describes the support school staff should be given before they agree to drive a school minibus.

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Falls from height

This NEU briefing provides guidance to safety representatives and members on taking action to reduce the incidence of accidents and injuries due to falls from height, including the legal requirements on employers, practical steps which can be taken and sources of further advice and information.

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The role of the safety rep

Safety representatives play a vital role in promoting safety in the workplace. This briefing covers the appointment of safety reps and their rights and functions.

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Safety inspections

This briefing advises safety reps on the steps to be taken in arranging and carrying out safety inspections and preparing inspection reports

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Managing Health and Safety

This briefing considers the management of health and safety in schools and colleges and the respective roles of the employer, governing body, head teacher and other staff of the school.

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Health and Safety Legal Framework

This NEU briefing tells you about the framework of health and safety law - in particular about the legal duties placed on employees, employers and others by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and about other sources of health and safety law.

Stressed School Teacher Advice
Protecting staff mental health

It is important to understand the extent of governing body’s responsibilities for managing health, safety and welfare of teachers and ways in which the NEU and governors can work together to safeguard the mental health of teachers.

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Risk assessment

This advice gives information on the legal requirement for employers to carry out risk assessments and the extent to which teachers and school staff can be required to assist in the process.

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Safety in practical lessons

This advice gives NEU guidance on the law’s requirements on assessing the safety of practical activities and on taking steps to ensure that these do not pose risks to the safety of staff or pupils.

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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.

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 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.

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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), the Burgundy Book and the Independent Pay Review Body in Wales.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tuberculosis in Schools

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

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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.

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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.

Retired teachers Advice
Judges’ and firefighters’ age discrimination pension case

The government has published its response to the July 2020 public consultation - Public service pension schemes: changes to the transition arrangements to the 2015 schemes consultation. The NEU is pleased that the government has adopted our position and favours ‘Deferred Choice’.  

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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.

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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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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 for NEU members on how to stay safe online and protect their online reputation. It also provides information about commonly used social media sites and how their misuse might have implications in schools and colleges.

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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.

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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.

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Pay appeals

Advice on identifying the grounds for a pay appeal and on how you might run a successful one.

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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.

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Unattached teachers

This guidance summarises the position in respect of pay and conditions for unattached teachers employed by local authorities and there are separate STPCDs for England and Wales.

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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.

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School pay policies

All schools, including academies, should have a pay policy which sets out how decisions are taken on pay matters including pay assessments, pay progression, discretionary payments, appeals etc.

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Appraisal FAQ

This advice 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Violence in schools

Advice on violence issues in schools and colleges, in particular how this should be tackled by employers, and student behaviour.

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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.

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

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Equality toolkit

This toolkit is aimed at school representatives, teacher governors and NEU officers to use to promote good policies and practices in schools and colleges.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Sun safety

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

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Work and suicide

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 security

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

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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.

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Lone working

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

School building Advice
Asbestos in schools

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

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Pay policy checklist

School teacher checklist for England to be used alongside the National Education Union model policy to help you negotiate a policy acceptable to the NEU.

Female teacher marking students work Advice
Pay policy checklist Wales

School teacher checklist for Wales to be used alongside the National Education Union model policy to help you negotiate a policy acceptable to the NEU.

Workload Advice
Pay model policy

This model pay policy will help to recruit, retain and motivate teachers, provide the basis for sound financial and personnel planning and minimise the risk of grievance and discrimination.

Workload Advice
Pay appeals - checklist

This checklist will help you prepare for meetings about recommendations to deny pay progression and appeals hearings after a decision has been taken to deny pay progression.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Maternity rights

Guide to teachers’ maternity rights explaining, as simply as possible, the various maternity and parental rights available to all teachers (e.g. shared parental leave), whether full or part time.

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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.

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Managing behaviour

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

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Lesson planning

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

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NQT pocket guide

What to expect on your teaching placement, including advice on what you should and should not be asked to do in the classroom.

Marking Advice
Workload : marking

What a marking policy should look like in your school and how to use our model checklist in your workplace.

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