September poses a new set of challenges for us all. This includes wider opening of education establishments, the need to ensure that coronavirus poses no detriment to all education staff and making sure all eligible staff receive the pay progression they deserve.
From September 2020 all pupils will be returning to education. To coincide with this, the National Education Union has produced a checklist for reps to discuss with members and also the head teachers.
Stage One: preliminary assessment of checklist compliance
Complete as soon as possible and by end of August at the very latest.
- Send checklist to members inviting feedback
- Hold digital members meeting to consider member feedback
- Hold meeting with head or principal for first discussion of reopening plans and checklist compliance
- Preliminary assessment of checklist compliance (via digital app wherever possible)
- Submit the Checklist Letter 1 - Issues of Concern with preliminary assessment to head or principal (NEU will provide online tool)
- Consider escalation actions set out below, liaising with branch, district or region/Wales office for further guidance.
Stage Two: final assessment of checklist compliance
Complete the week prior to date set for reopening, and by Friday 4 September at the latest.
- Final meetings with head or principal to assess whether checklist compliance, including conducting a site inspection if safe to do so
- Final assessment of checklist compliance (via digital app wherever possible)
- If the final assessment is not full compliance with the checklist’s core safety concerns identified above and head or principal insists on proceeding with reopening, then:
- Feedback final assessment to members, request that members co-sign Checklist Letter 2 – Serious Safety Warning (adapted to suit our local circumstances) and then submit the Checklist Letter 2 to the Head/Principal
- Flag to branch and region/Wales office to consider further escalation actions as set out below.
- If the head or principal still refuses to adjust their reopening plans and/or delay their timetable for reopening, immediately flag to your branch and region/Wales office to issue relevant legal advice to members and associated final escalations actions.
Escalation guidance relating to infection outbreaks – in-school/college or local spikes – is below
Guidance for reps and officers on virus outbreak response escalation.
Arrange a digital members meeting
Convene a digital members meeting as soon as possible and if your members’ collective view is that working on the school site to present a serious and and imminent danger to yourself and others (pupils, parents, carers, their families and the wider community) for example because you believe the risk assessment is deficient or because our checklist reveals problems or because vulnerable staff or staff who live with vulnerable people are being required to attend school, then you should:
We have this short guide to help you deliver a digital members meeting to discuss the checklist and ensure we represent members views collectively in discussion with your leadership teams.
How you and your members can secure progression
The COVID-19 crisis, and partial closure of schools, has placed enormous pressure on school staff including teachers, support staff and school leaders.
Under the current circumstances, education staff are unable to complete meaningful Performance Management reviews for the academic year 2019/20 and so annual pay reviews cannot be carried out in the normal way.
Find your local branch
We are asking your local branch and district officers to support you and ensure members are represented during this period.
Rep recruitment drive
Many members are already stepping up to become NEU reps and to become part of rep teams to help during the COVID-19 crisis.
If there is a member who wants to be a rep with you, we will encourage them to speak with you first. Members can indicate they want to get involved using our form here.