As a union, the NEU is working to help ensure the health and safety of our members, their families and our schools.
The National Education Union (NEU) wants schools to open more widely but only when it is safe to do so. Your safety, that of your students, their families and society as a whole, must be our priority.
The NEU is proud to have led a campaign which has forced the Government to acknowledge the risks inherent in a wider opening of schools and colleges. We will continue to press the Government for our five tests to be met before wider opening and to work with our members and reps to ensure the safest possible return to school.
Check your safety
Our checklists for primary schools and early years, for secondary schools and colleges and for special schools and PRUs should be completed before school wider opening, even on the more limited basis now proposed, and the standards in them maintained. Read our more detailed advice pages if you want more information on any issue.
If you do not have a rep in your school, volunteer to meet your head/principal and go through the checklist. We can support you to do this and you will have the authority of the NEU behind you, ensuring greater safety for you, your colleagues and the children.
The NEU has issued advice for staff at greater risk due to personal or family circumstances and specific advice for Black staff. Use these to assess your situation and use the model letter provided if you want to inform your employer that you think it unsafe to be working in school.
Protect the school community
If you consider working on the school site to present a serious and imminent danger to yourself and others (pupils, parents, carers, their families and the wider community) – because you believe the risk assessment is deficient, our checklist reveals problems or because staff who are at risk or live with at risk people are being required to come in to the workplace – then you should:
- co-sign a letter to the head stating why you feel in danger and share that with your rep or
- download a copy of this letter (Section 3 enables you to state your direct circumstances) and send it to your head.
- send copies of these letters to your NEU branch secretary.
If you experience any problems after sending these letters, or have any further questions about what you should do next, contact your rep, your branch secretary, regional office or, if necessary, the NEU Adviceline for further help and support.
The law protects you from detriment if you refuse to attend a place of work (or leave your place of work) that you have reasonable grounds to consider to be unsafe and to pose a serious and imminent danger to yourself and others. The NEU will fully support any member who exercises this right and defend them from any detriment.