Please read this advice alongside the NEU’s main FAQ advice for members which covers a range of general matters.
Should residential establishments stay open?
The NEU recognises that many residential establishments may need to remain open for students provided that is possible safely. Government guidance for residential establishments is available here and much of the NEU advice for special schools will be relevant to residential establishments.
What should happen if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed at my residential establishment?
DfE advice on the procedure to be followed is set out in point 4 of its guidance. There are specific issues for residential establishments because your entire establishment or building should self-isolate if a resident shows symptoms. The Government accepts that supporting children and young people during self-isolation will be a complex task. Consideration should be given to the needs of the entire household and to each child and young person, working closely with parents and carers where appropriate.
Should visits to my residential establishment be allowed?
Frequent visits from education professionals and other external staff should be avoided. Visiting guidelines, including appropriate risk assessments, will need to be reviewed. See NEU advice here.
What should I do if I am concerned about my own health and safety?
If you and your colleagues have concerns, first of all make sure that your head of establishment is informed (by your rep if you have one). If that doesn't resolve the matter, get in touch with the NEU for advice. Employees have protection under the law if they leave a workplace in circumstances which they believe to represent 'serious and imminent danger' but it is important to seek advice first.
If I work in a residential establishment, is it reasonable for me to be asked to work from home?
Where it is feasible to do so, it is a reasonable request for you to work from home. In the event of your establishment closing, adequate safeguards will need to be in place to ensure safe working from home. See NEU advice on working at home.
Is it safe for my boarding school to re-open?
The NEU is particularly concerned by the enhanced exposure to potential risk for our members working in residential schools and colleges, for the pupils, and their families.
Members should follow the advice on re-opening on the main pages for the relevant school phase, including the NEU checklists, in conjunction with the guidance issued by the Boarding School Association, including their charter and checklist.
The Scottish government has issued guidance for residential boarding/hostel accommodation in educational facilities which is a helpful point of reference.