NEU help and advice pages comprise FAQs and other guidance which address common employment workplace issues and are entirely problem focused.

They are not intended as a substitute for telephone or face-to-face advice, but are additional to the support provided by school and college reps, districts, regional offices and our offices in Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you require more detailed advice, or are unable to find the answers you are looking for, contact Adviceline.



Safeguarding


School environment

  • Advice on classroom acoustics and reducing the risk of vocal strain on teachers

  • Advice on dealing with asbestos problems in schools, including the law on asbestos removal and management in schools.

  • Guidance on maximum class and room sizes

  • The issues around ergonomics in classrooms and good practices for school staff.

  • Advice on the heating levels in schools and classrooms in England, and how to deal with the various types of heating problems which are commonly encountered during cold weather and snow.

  • Advice on the heating levels in schools and classrooms in Wales, and how to deal with the various types of heating problems which are commonly encountered during cold weather and snow.

  • Advice on what employers need to do to protect staff from the problems caused by wood dust and MDF dust.
  • At least 86 per cent of schools contain asbestos, all of it old and much of it deteriorating. Unless your school was wholly built after 1999, it is extremely likely that it contains asbestos.
  • Advice on responding to flood alerts in schools and dealing with the aftermath.
  • Hot summers bring regular queries about the maximum temperatures under which staff and pupils should be expected to work in schools.

  • Advice on the appropriate hygiene procedures for schools which will help to prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis A, B and C, and conditions such as dysentery.
  • The symptoms, treatments and preventative measures that should be taken in schools to avoid outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to premises or working practices to ensure that employees are not disadvantaged because of their disability.

  • Frequently asked questions in relation to staff car parking on school premises. It includes information on provision of school car parks, charges for car parking, car park safety and malicious damage to cars.
  • Advice on legal requirements and good practice for construction work in schools and a stage-by-stage guide to the role of safety representatives.

  • Advice about school security, in particular at security arrangements and methods to deal with intruders.

  • A quick guide on what to do in severe winter conditions or adverse weather.

  • Overcrowding is a common problem in classrooms. Unfortunately, there are no legal minimum space requirements specifying classroom dimensions. There are, however, a number of legal provisions and sources of guidance that can be drawn upon in challenging cramped teaching areas
  • There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools. This briefing identifies those which will be most relevant and the areas which they cover.

  • There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools in Wales. This briefing identifies those which will be most relevant and the areas which they cover.

  • How schools can help protect pupils from sun exposure and advice around sunscreen.
  • Advice for teachers on voice care, including spotting problems, simple preventative measures and information on how and when to seek appropriate specialist help


Sexism

  • Who is protected from sexual harassment and the first steps you should take if you think you are being subjected to such harassment.


Sick leave

  • In many cases, your employer will invite you to attend a meeting as part of their absence monitoring/management procedures
  • Doctors issue fit notes to provide evidence of advice they have given to patients about their fitness to work. They record details of the effects of the patient’s condition so that the patient and employee can consider ways to facilitate a return to work where appropriate.
  • Returning to work after a long illness can be daunting. A well-supported phased return can make the process easier. This guidance describes what a phased return to work is, how it operates and answers common queries.
  • Most teachers will at some point need to take sick leave. This document sets out arrangements for teachers’ sick pay and sick leave.

  • In maintained, or local authority schools, teachers’ national sick pay entitlements are set out in the Burgundy Book. Academies, independent and free schools may set their own sick pay schemes, but a number follow the provisions of the Burgundy Book sick pay scheme.


Sixth form college


Stress

  • Excessive workload is a key cause of mental health problems among teachers and education professionals. This advice explains what to do if you are struggling with mental health and outlines the different ways you can get support.

  • A stress risk assessment is a careful examination of what in a workplace could cause staff to suffer from work-related stress, so that you can weigh up whether you have done enough, or should do more to prevent harm.
  • Excessive workload and working hours are continually cited by teachers as one of the main causes of their workplace stress. This advice explains how to tackle stress at a local level in your workplace.

  • If someone is threatening imminent suicide call 999 and stay with them until the emergency services arrive.


Supply

  • Advice on your eligibility for and access to workplace pension schemes as an agency supply teacher.
  • What are the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 and what protection do they offer supply teachers?

  • Health and safety issues for supply teachers, including those employed directly by local authorities, schools and academy trusts and those employed via supply agencies. Supply teachers have to adapt quickly to changing surroundings but will not be as familiar with schools’ policies and security arrangements as the permanent teaching staff.

  • Supply teachers who are in a 'pool' maintained by a LA, those located through the school's own contacts, or part-timers who wish to temporarily increase their hours, are likely to be employees of the school or LA for their period of supply work.
  • What should I expect to be paid as an agency supply teacher? What should I be paid for supply work of less than a day in duration? What happens if a school wants to offer me a permanent job? These and many other key questions are covered in this introductory guide to supply teaching.

  • As an agency supply teacher, your rights under the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) can be affected by entering into a “guaranteed work” contract.
  • How can I get the most from supply teaching and avoid the worst problems facing supply teachers today?
  • Umbrella’ and ‘limited’ companies have been around for a while now, but they still retain the capacity to cause confusion. This guidance aims to de-mystify both concepts.


Support staff

  • NEU advice on observation by colleagues and others of support staff in schools.

  • NEU advice giving a brief synopsis of the advent of the Workload Agreement, and the ‘dos and don’ts’ for HLTAs and cover supervisors.

  • NEU advice on risks of lone working and what can be done to counter them.
  • The employment rights of support staff in maintained and academy sectors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • NEU receives many enquiries from support staff members about job descriptions – their accuracy, and how to go about changing them, and job evaluation – what is it, and how to get your job re-evaluated to take account of changes (normally an increase) in responsibilities?
  • There are no national pay scales for support staff employed in the state sector. But most LA schools use the local government pay scales to pay their support staff in conjunction with National Joint Council (NJC) terms and conditions.
  • An initial section of guidance on term-time working has now been agreed between the local government employers and the recognised trade unions
  • NEU believes that the increase in the quantity and complexity of work for school support staff has now reached crisis point. This advice is designed to help those working in independent schools to deal with this unmanageable workload.

  • NEU believes that the increase in the quantity and complexity of work for school support staff has now reached crisis point. This advice is designed to help those working in state and academy schools to deal with this unmanageable workload.

  • A new Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) was introduced in 2014. From April of that year, all members are in the new scheme, and accrued benefits from that time forward on a career average basis. This factsheet gives an overview of the LGPS, including those changes.


Safeguarding


School environment

  • Advice on classroom acoustics and reducing the risk of vocal strain on teachers

  • Advice on dealing with asbestos problems in schools, including the law on asbestos removal and management in schools.

  • Guidance on maximum class and room sizes

  • The issues around ergonomics in classrooms and good practices for school staff.

  • Advice on the heating levels in schools and classrooms in England, and how to deal with the various types of heating problems which are commonly encountered during cold weather and snow.

  • Advice on the heating levels in schools and classrooms in Wales, and how to deal with the various types of heating problems which are commonly encountered during cold weather and snow.

  • Advice on what employers need to do to protect staff from the problems caused by wood dust and MDF dust.
  • At least 86 per cent of schools contain asbestos, all of it old and much of it deteriorating. Unless your school was wholly built after 1999, it is extremely likely that it contains asbestos.
  • Advice on responding to flood alerts in schools and dealing with the aftermath.
  • Hot summers bring regular queries about the maximum temperatures under which staff and pupils should be expected to work in schools.

  • Advice on the appropriate hygiene procedures for schools which will help to prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis A, B and C, and conditions such as dysentery.
  • The symptoms, treatments and preventative measures that should be taken in schools to avoid outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to premises or working practices to ensure that employees are not disadvantaged because of their disability.

  • Frequently asked questions in relation to staff car parking on school premises. It includes information on provision of school car parks, charges for car parking, car park safety and malicious damage to cars.
  • Advice on legal requirements and good practice for construction work in schools and a stage-by-stage guide to the role of safety representatives.

  • Advice about school security, in particular at security arrangements and methods to deal with intruders.

  • A quick guide on what to do in severe winter conditions or adverse weather.

  • Overcrowding is a common problem in classrooms. Unfortunately, there are no legal minimum space requirements specifying classroom dimensions. There are, however, a number of legal provisions and sources of guidance that can be drawn upon in challenging cramped teaching areas
  • There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools. This briefing identifies those which will be most relevant and the areas which they cover.

  • There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools in Wales. This briefing identifies those which will be most relevant and the areas which they cover.

  • How schools can help protect pupils from sun exposure and advice around sunscreen.
  • Advice for teachers on voice care, including spotting problems, simple preventative measures and information on how and when to seek appropriate specialist help


Sexism

  • Who is protected from sexual harassment and the first steps you should take if you think you are being subjected to such harassment.


Sick leave

  • In many cases, your employer will invite you to attend a meeting as part of their absence monitoring/management procedures
  • Doctors issue fit notes to provide evidence of advice they have given to patients about their fitness to work. They record details of the effects of the patient’s condition so that the patient and employee can consider ways to facilitate a return to work where appropriate.
  • Returning to work after a long illness can be daunting. A well-supported phased return can make the process easier. This guidance describes what a phased return to work is, how it operates and answers common queries.
  • Most teachers will at some point need to take sick leave. This document sets out arrangements for teachers’ sick pay and sick leave.

  • In maintained, or local authority schools, teachers’ national sick pay entitlements are set out in the Burgundy Book. Academies, independent and free schools may set their own sick pay schemes, but a number follow the provisions of the Burgundy Book sick pay scheme.


Sixth form college


Stress

  • Excessive workload is a key cause of mental health problems among teachers and education professionals. This advice explains what to do if you are struggling with mental health and outlines the different ways you can get support.

  • A stress risk assessment is a careful examination of what in a workplace could cause staff to suffer from work-related stress, so that you can weigh up whether you have done enough, or should do more to prevent harm.
  • Excessive workload and working hours are continually cited by teachers as one of the main causes of their workplace stress. This advice explains how to tackle stress at a local level in your workplace.

  • If someone is threatening imminent suicide call 999 and stay with them until the emergency services arrive.


Supply

  • Advice on your eligibility for and access to workplace pension schemes as an agency supply teacher.
  • What are the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 and what protection do they offer supply teachers?

  • Health and safety issues for supply teachers, including those employed directly by local authorities, schools and academy trusts and those employed via supply agencies. Supply teachers have to adapt quickly to changing surroundings but will not be as familiar with schools’ policies and security arrangements as the permanent teaching staff.

  • Supply teachers who are in a 'pool' maintained by a LA, those located through the school's own contacts, or part-timers who wish to temporarily increase their hours, are likely to be employees of the school or LA for their period of supply work.
  • What should I expect to be paid as an agency supply teacher? What should I be paid for supply work of less than a day in duration? What happens if a school wants to offer me a permanent job? These and many other key questions are covered in this introductory guide to supply teaching.

  • As an agency supply teacher, your rights under the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) can be affected by entering into a “guaranteed work” contract.
  • How can I get the most from supply teaching and avoid the worst problems facing supply teachers today?
  • Umbrella’ and ‘limited’ companies have been around for a while now, but they still retain the capacity to cause confusion. This guidance aims to de-mystify both concepts.


Support staff

  • NEU advice on observation by colleagues and others of support staff in schools.

  • NEU advice giving a brief synopsis of the advent of the Workload Agreement, and the ‘dos and don’ts’ for HLTAs and cover supervisors.

  • NEU advice on risks of lone working and what can be done to counter them.
  • The employment rights of support staff in maintained and academy sectors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • NEU receives many enquiries from support staff members about job descriptions – their accuracy, and how to go about changing them, and job evaluation – what is it, and how to get your job re-evaluated to take account of changes (normally an increase) in responsibilities?
  • There are no national pay scales for support staff employed in the state sector. But most LA schools use the local government pay scales to pay their support staff in conjunction with National Joint Council (NJC) terms and conditions.
  • An initial section of guidance on term-time working has now been agreed between the local government employers and the recognised trade unions
  • NEU believes that the increase in the quantity and complexity of work for school support staff has now reached crisis point. This advice is designed to help those working in independent schools to deal with this unmanageable workload.

  • NEU believes that the increase in the quantity and complexity of work for school support staff has now reached crisis point. This advice is designed to help those working in state and academy schools to deal with this unmanageable workload.

  • A new Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) was introduced in 2014. From April of that year, all members are in the new scheme, and accrued benefits from that time forward on a career average basis. This factsheet gives an overview of the LGPS, including those changes.