In light of the global pandemic it is hard to talk about the future. But if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is the importance of education in supporting our children, young people and their families and communities here in Wales.
NEU Cymru is Wales’ largest education union. It has a staff of 23, including a full-time solicitor, dealing with the needs of the education workforce. NEU Cymru campaigns to ensure that Welsh Government and local authorities provide the best for education professional and pupils in every educational institution in Wales.
- Wales Education Recovery Plan
- Coronavirus : Advice for members in Wales
- Read the latest Welsh government advice on coronavirus
- See Welsh Government coronavirus guidance on school staff and their employment
- Coronavirus: Welsh government support for the supply sector
- See also Qualifications Wales, the exam regulator, latest news and Estyn suspending all inspections
The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to specific issues in special schools and for ALN in mainstream schools. Further information on lockdown for NEU members working in special schools can be downloaded here.
Lateral Flow Testing in Schools and Colleges
On 14 December 2020, the Welsh Government announced that Coronavirus testing is to be rolled out in schools and colleges from January 2021. There is no confirmed date or timetable as yet, nor have we been provided with details of how the logistical details associated with such a huge and daunting exercise will be dealt with. Read the joint advice here and the Welsh version here.
Pay award 2020
Following a period of consultation after the publication of the IWPRB pay recommendations, the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, has announced the pay award for teachers in Wales which will be backdated to the 1 September 2020. We can confirm that the award will see:
- 8.48% uplift to the minimum of the main pay scale.
- 3.75% uplift to the statutory maxima of the MPS.
- 2.75% uplift to the statutory minima and maxima of the UPS.
- 2.75% uplift to the minima and maxima of the leading practitioner range, unqualified teachers pay scale, leadership pay scale and allowances.
- Statutory national pay scales for all pay points on MPS, UPS, unqualified and leadership scales.
- 2.75% uplift across interim pay points of the leading practitioner pay range and teacher allowances.
Children, Young People and Education Committee
NEU Cymru gave evidence on the Curriculum and Assessment Bill this am – Evidence session 7. NEU Cymru support the general principles of the legislation – to give more autonomy to educators in schools to design and deliver a curriculum for their learners. But more funding and training are needed to make sure that the ambitions of the Bill are realised. See our full response to the Bill.
School Teachers’ Pay: IWPRB’s 2nd Report and Welsh Government Response
NEU Cymru response letter to the Minister for Education in Wales on the IWPRB’s 2nd Report and proposals for implementation of the IWPRB’s recommendations relating to school teacher pay in Wales.
Operational protocol to support the return of staff to Further Education Colleges in Wales
These protocols have been developed by the FE sector in consultation with teaching unions.
Guidance for wider opening of schools
The Welsh Government has published guidance relating to the wider opening of schools in Wales:
- Keep Childcare Safe: Protective measures in pre-school childcare settings
- Keep Education Safe: Operational guidance for schools and settings from the autumn term
- Keep Education Safe: Learning guidance for schools
- Keep Education Safe: Guidance on recommencing face to face further education and work based learning
Education Minister Kirsty Williams to reopen schools to all year groups.
The Minister’s statement in which she has opened schools to all year groups with effect from 29 June does not sit well with NEU Cymru. It is too much, too soon. Read the press release here.
Children's Commission for Wales letter
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has written a letter in which she has expressed concern regarding the position in England and indicated support to the position being taken in Wales.
Education Minister sets out five key principles for schools’ return
NEU Cymru has welcomed the announcement by the Education Minister, setting out the conditions under which schools in Wales will reopen. The union agrees that the safety of staff and students alike is paramount. Read the press release here.
Education Minister confirms no imminent plans to open schools
NEU Cymru is pleased Education Minister Kirsty Williams AM responded to our letter about schools reopening. She confirmed that safety of staff and students is her priority and she wont be allowing the schools to open up again until the medical professionals say it is safe to do so.
The Minister wrote to NEU members a few weeks ago, read her blog here.
99% of NEU Cymru members say more funding for education would help young people learn
During the pandemic, our supply members have been extremely disappointed by the behaviour of some of the supply agencies, who have refused to Furlough supply staff.
We must be mindful that everyone will be apprehensive about a potential rise in the virus levels if we open up too quickly, so a phased approach is welcome, as a safe return is essential.
We are always concerned that exams do not fully reflect the potential of young people in the system, and are especially pleased that there are no plans to use an unfair algorithm this year.
NEU Cymru welcomes proposed closure of schools and colleges until February
NEU Cymru welcomes extra money for disadvantaged learners
Kirsty Williams, Education Minister Wales thanks the school community for helping the country in a time of national need.
Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, Welsh Government cites plans to support teachers to deliver the new Curriculum for Wales.
Around one fifth of children in Wales lives in poverty, the highest percentage of children in the UK.
Advice and guidance
NEU Cymru Education Recovery Plan – February 2021
Advice for NEU members in Wales during the coronavirus crisis.
There is a vast range of legislation on health and safety matters which applies in whole, or in part, to schools in Wales.
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.
Guidance on classroom observation protocol in Wales
Training in Wales
We will be rescheduling the NEU Cymru Reps training programme as soon as possible for 2021 but in the meantime, we will continue to deliver regular training / briefing sessions for our workplace representatives via Zoom so look out for email notification of these. Thank you for your continued support.