This is a confusing and scary time for many of us. Events are moving at speed and advice on how to best combat the coronavirus pandemic is changing every day. As a union, we are working to help ensure the health and safety of our members, their families and our schools.

    Wider reopening

    The NEU wants wider school reopening to begin as soon as it is safe to do so.  But your safety, that of your students, their families and society as a whole, must be our priority.

    Use our joint union checklist and associated guidance for primary schools, reflecting the DFE advice published for primary schools, to discuss wider opening with your NEU workplace rep, colleagues and school leaders and make sure it is safe for your school to reopen.  We will publish similar checklists for secondary, early years and special schools when the DFE advice for this sectors is published.

    Wider opening should only happen when national tests are met and there is full compliance with the checklist.

    NEU five tests and open schools petition

    The Government has its own five tests before relaxing the lockdown. The National Education of Union has launched  its own five tests for Government before schools can re-open.

    We want to begin to re-open schools and colleges as soon as we can. But this needs to be safe for society, for children and their families and the staff who work in them. Read our press release on the five tests.

    If your school or college proposes to reopen for more students without Government authority to do so, read our advice on the legal position and how to prevent this happening.

    Given that a full return to the school population will increase risks to our members and the children in their care, the NEU joint general secretaries Kevin Courtney & Mary Bousted have written a letter to the Prime Minister asking  for the modelling, evidence and plans that will form the basis of any decisions made by the Prime Minister and his Government to be shared.

    We have asked the Government to share its evidence and modelling with us. We have asked for the publication of peer-reviewed science. So far we have received no response.

    The questions we have put to Government are listed in this report.  We have also listed references to scientific papers and studies that confirm that there are real issues to be addressed.

    The Government must answer our questions; they are reasonable and sensible and are asked in good faith on behalf of educators, our pupils and their families. 
    We all want schools to be reopened – but this must be when it is safe for them to do so.

    The Government must address the concerns of staff, parents and the wider community. Further, it should meet our Five Tests, which we believe it must demonstrate it has passed before any wider reopening of schools. 

    Support the NEU letter to the PM on opening schools:

    Watch our coronavirus video update with joint general secretaries Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted give a further update on our response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    NEU advice on coronavirus

    • Advice Graphical representation of Covid-19
      Coronavirus - reps

      Guide for National Education Union workplace representatives and how to support your members during coronavirus outbreak.