The National Education Union wants:
An immediate increase in the availability of testing for staff and pupils.
Many are stuck at home, waiting for a test or results, hampering efforts to control the virus or get back to the classroom if results come back negative. We want asymptomatic testing of staff and older pupils.
The taking over of public buildings to allow expanded space for classrooms, smaller bubbles and better social distancing. Bigger class sizes lead to bigger transmission networks and our class sizes are amongst the largest in Europe. The Government should employ both supply and newly-qualified teachers who are yet to find work to reduce class sizes and allow learning to continue.
A Plan B for learning
A route map supporting blended and remote learning, guaranteeing access to broadband and laptops so no child is left behind.
Protection for vulnerable educators
Vulnerable staff should be supported to work from home, especially in areas where cases are highest.
GCSE and A levels that fairly assess young people's attainment
Exams cannot cover all the current syllabus because students have missed five months of school attendance. Children should be tested on what they have learned, not on what they haven’t. We want content assessed in GCSE and A-level exams to be reduced, some topics optional to be made optional and a robust national system of moderated, centre-assessed grades in case of a second spike.
A guarantee that school health and safety costs will be reimbursed
The cost of implementing Covid-secure schools is leaving schools short. Safety must not be compromised because of financial constraints. All Covid-19-related costs, including staffing and health and safety costs, must be fully-funded by Government.
We want schools and colleges to remain safe and open. But Government must do everything it can to make this a reality.