1. We support the Government’s decision to extend free school meals entitlement to children whose parents have no recourse to public funds and families supported under Section 4 of the Children Act (where asylum claims have not been successful.)
  2. Ofqual has announced that it will use calculated results for qualifications used for progression to higher and further education. Teachers will estimate student grades for BTEC Nationals, Cambridge Technicals, Functional Skills Qualifications, UAL Diplomas as well as general qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Pre-U and qualifications included under the umbrella term ‘Core Maths’. Arrangements for other qualifications will be issued after Easter and NEU is working with Ofqual to get as much detail as possible for our members and ensure processes fair for students and staff, whilst recognising the range of qualifications and that no one size fits all.
  3. We’re pleased the DfE guidance agrees with the NEU that Easter staff rotas should give staff who are working alternative periods of leave during these extraordinary circumstances. No staff should be asked to provide lesson activities during this Easter holiday.
  4. The NEU is fully in agreement that schools should only be re-opened when the scientific advice says it would be safe to re-open.
  5. The DfE has revised its guidance for trainee teachers to clarify that trainees should continue to engage with their courses, and be given support to continue. The NEU is clear that any judgements against the teacher standards should be evidenced on teaching practice seen in schools prior to closure: further course work should be to support trainees to feel ready to become qualified teachers.
  6. The NEU is working with the DfE about what the summer term should look like, based on what is reasonable for staff and manageable for parents, and primarily focused on supporting students' well-being, because many students are feeling deeply unsettled by all the unexpected change.
  7. The NEU welcomes the Government’s confirmation that schools will be reimbursed for additional costs due to the coronavirus. We’re working with leadership members on the other types of expenditure not yet listed, including to support students without access to internet or resources. We think it is essential that spending to promote well-being and safety is prioritised. The sooner the Government confirms the method for applying for costs the better.
  8. Ofqual have said that GCSEs and A-levels will be set using pupils’ work before school closures. The NEU is working with the other unions on what would be a sensible focus for the summer term. The NEU advice on grading is clear – teachers should not be setting work or exams for students in year 11 or year 13 in order to decide their grades as this can not be done equitably in the circumstances.
  9. Home learning environments are unequal and hugely varied and the NEU is developing ideas around free creative packs which schools could provide, similar to Free School Meals, to support families. There is significant inequality around internet access, mobile devices, musical equipment and access to outside space, tutors and books. The NEU has launched a microsite with helpful information to support parents and carers.
  10. The NEU continues to support and advise supply members, members in independent schoolsand members working in special schools who face specific challenges and circumstances. We think staff in certain special schools need personal protective equipment (PPE) as soon as possible. 
  11. The NEU wants coronavirus testing for education staff. We recognise the need to prioritise testing including within the education workforce. This prioritisation and the lack of PPE in schools makes it essential for vulnerable staff members and those living with a family member more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus to work from home.