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Coronavirus: face coverings

A joint letter is going out 4 May 2021 to Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary urging him not to relax the measures around the wearing of face coverings in schools and colleges.

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Covid-19 and schools

The latest weekly National Education Union (NEU) report on education Covid-19 data.

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Education Recovery Plan

The NEU education recovery plan sets out how to fully reopen schools and colleges in a safe and sustainable way.

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Concerns about re-opening of special schools

NEU along side NI teacher unions (Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council) have written to the First and Deputy First Minister to highlight concerns regarding Special School Provision during the current lockdown.

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Coronavirus: remote learning

Learn more about members' experiences and the NEU's advice on remote learning and our innovative platform to support you and your colleagues in delivering effective remote learning.

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SAGE advice

Seventy-fourth SAGE meeting on COVID-19, 22nd December 2020 Held via Video Teleconference

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School Attendance November

The school attendance figures for last week show a shocking increase in the disruption coronavirus is causing to our schools.

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Coronavirus: officers

Guide for National Education Union officers on how to support your members during coronavirus

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Coronavirus: New School Day

This guidance has been developed for education settings, to support a safe reopening of schools in line with the Northern Ireland Executive’s “Coronavirus Executive Approach to Decision-Making” published on 12 May 2020.

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Coronavirus and SEND

The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to specific issues in special schools and for SEND in mainstream schools. Updated September 2021.

Only when it's safe
Only when it's safe

See the stories of NEU members across England, who only want wider school opening when it’s safe

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Children’s Commissioner

We all want schools to open – as soon as it is safe to do so. The NEU’s five tests do not require a vaccine, which will be many months away.

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Write to your MP

Parents, pupils, school staff and everyone in our communities want schools to reopen more widely, but only when it’s safe.

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NEU hardship fund

The NEU Hardship Fund has been established to provide financial assistance to members facing financial difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

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Coronavirus update call

Coronavirus update call for members with Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted at 6pm on Monday 30th March

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MPs' town hall

Conference call for Members of Parliament at 2.30pm on Friday 27th March

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Coronavirus

The NEU is working to help ensure the health and safety of our members, their families and our schools as we continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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AGENDA

Supporting children and young people to make positive relationships matter.

Advice

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Vaccination

The NEU strongly urges all members who are able to receive the COVID vaccine to take it. Here are frequently asked questions on vaccination for education staff.

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Guidance for results days in 2020

In any normal year there can be great anxiety for students, parents, carers and education staff in and around results day. This year will be no different but will have the added complexity of the extraordinary situation for awarding grades, appeals and entries into the autumn series.

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Coronavirus: supply educators guidance

We know that supply educators have experienced real difficulties since the pandemic began, particularly during school closures. Those difficulties continue, however, even with schools and colleges open.

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Create Box

Not all home learning environments are equal. Put together Create Boxes for children in your school.

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Coronavirus: leadership advice

The NEU is committed to helping you ensure safety in the workplace for all staff and students in schools and colleges during this very challenging time.

Blog

Ciaran O'Halloran, Northern Ireland Blog
Peter Weir's executive dysfunction

Ciaran O’Halloran, NEU member, head of drama at a school in Belfast, and an examiner for Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) shares his thoughts on the ministerial decision on WJEC exams in Northern Ireland.

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Coronavirus: Should we trust the UK Government?

Week of 30 March, Professor Scally published important articles in the Irish Times and Irish News which were widely read and debated, and get to the heart of the UK Government’s approach to the Covid-19 crisis. Prof. Scally’s article is reproduced here in full, without the need for further comment.

Press release

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Keir Starmer Speech

Labour have understood that any Government serious about education needs both a strategy to reduce child poverty and a strategy on boosting schools' capacity to serve every local child.  

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SAGE on Schools Reopening

This statement from SAGE is a rebuke to Gavin Williamson. Nothing has been done to prepare for the possibility of large numbers of cases which will lead to lots of disruption for staff and pupils

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Back to School

We all want the return to school to be successful. This charm offensive from Government relies on the notion that the removal of safety requirements will magically transform school and college life.

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CO2 Monitors

This is a really welcome first step in accepting our argument that funding is needed for good ventilation. It is vital, though, that Government must also commit to supporting schools to address any ventilation problems identified by these monitors.

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A-Level Results

Today’s results were achieved amidst unprecedented levels of disruption and adversity, but students can rest assured that they have been judged according to the work they have actually done.

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Changes to Covid Restrictions in Schools

This is neglectful and reckless decision-making, when schools and colleges quite obviously need the backing of Government to ensure their workplace remains safe. This is not a Government which oversees, but one which overlooks.

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Labour on 2022 Examinations

September 1st is the absolute latest that information should be provided about qualifications in 2022. There still hasn’t been any detail nor a public consultation, and we are already in July. That is unacceptable.

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Attendance Data

The continued sharp rise in Covid-related pupil absences risks leaving plans for the end of the school year in tatters.

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Thank A Teacher Day

While there have been many unsung heroes during this pandemic, Thank A Teacher Day gives us all an opportunity to recognise the work that has gone on in schools and colleges up and down the country.

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School Absence Rates

The new attendance figures are very worrying. In secondary schools the rate of absence for Covid-related reasons has tripled in just one week, while in primary schools the rate has doubled in a week.

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NFER on Apprenticeships

The NEU supports proposals to help young people access apprenticeship programmes but this report lays bare the disproportionate impact those reforms are having on younger apprentices.

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Sutton Trust on Early Years

The report confirms what early years educators have repeatedly told Government: recovery from the pandemic must be concerned with building back the social element in children's lives.

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Face Coverings in Class

The NEU welcomes the fact that the Government has accepted the scientific consensus that the wearing of face coverings by staff and students in classrooms forms a key part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission of Covid-19 in schools and colleges.

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The State of Education: Young People’s Mental Health

In advance of the National Education Union’s annual conference, held online this week, more than 10,000 teachers, leaders and support staff from across the UK and in all school and college settings have made clear their views on the State of Education and the conditions under which they work.

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Labour's analysis of class sizes

The Labour Party is right to highlight this important issue. The proportion of pupils in outsized secondary classes is at its highest point in the last 40 years with 1 million children being taught in classes of more than 30. 

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Budget 2021

The Government has said schools are a “national priority”, yet this Budget has provided schools with no new resources to manage coronavirus.

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Awarding Grades for 2021

Government acted too late. Had there been steps taken at the start of the academic year to prepare for the eventuality that exams may not be able to happen, this could have been more easily resolved.

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Schools Wider Opening from 8 March

Today’s announcement that all pupils will return to English schools and colleges on 8 March demonstrates, again, that Boris Johnson has, despite all his words of caution, failed to learn the lessons of his previous mistakes

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Early Years Census 2021 Return

The clarification to the census guidance is a limited and confusing response to a worsening crisis. Its offer of top-up funding does not guarantee the necessary level of financial support.

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MHRA on Testing in Schools

We have always supported the idea of mass testing in schools as a means to facilitate safe on-site learning, but this has to be consistent with scientific understanding.

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Gavin Williamson on 2021 Exams

The principle of trusting teachers rather than algorithms is absolutely the right one to take. The fact that the Government originally did not do so last summer was what caused upset and chaos for students.

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Keir Starmer Speech

Keir Starmer is right to call out the Government on key worker pay.  A pay freeze is no way to reward education staff for the immense contribution they have made to the country's response to the pandemic. 

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SATs Cancelled

Teachers and parents will be relieved that Gavin Williamson has faced up to reality and cancelled this year's SATs tests.

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School Attendance Data

These attendance figures that have been hidden from the public for so long show just what a profound impact coronavirus has had on schooling in many areas. 

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Mass Testing for Schools

This announcement gives almost zero notice for unions to assess the plans, or for schools to implement them. The Government’s suggestion that the preparation for the roll-out of testing should happen this week is ridiculous.

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Greenwich Council

This Government really has taken a step too far. They should hang their heads in shame. Parents, students and school staff will not forgive this wilful neglect of their safety.

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Ofsted on Covid Isolation

It is hugely concerning that Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) children are not doing as well as their peers in terms of coping with remote learning.

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ONS Figures

The latest ONS Coronavirus survey figures should be very worrying to the Government - especially in the run up to Christmas. They show that cases are again rising in secondary and primary schools. 

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Testing in Schools

Rolling out testing in these two areas is a start, but the Prime Minister needs to urgently address those other parts of the country where infection rates remain high.  

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Attendance Figures

The latest figures from the last week of national lockdown are deeply depressing. One in five secondary pupils and one in ten primary pupils were absent last week

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DfE on Primary Assessment

Teachers require an assurance that the results of key stage 2 tests in 2021, which cannot possibly be a measure of the quality of a school, will not be used as a measure of accountability.

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Independent SAGE

This is a welcome intervention by Independent SAGE, which once again exposes the enormous blind-spot that Government has towards schools.

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Education Committee on Exams

The National Education Union agrees with the Education Select Committee’s conclusion that exams for 2021 must take account of the differential impacts of access to education across the country.

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EPI on School attendance rates

With high numbers of pupils and staff having to isolate as a result of Covid cases in their school, Govt decisions are doubling the difficulties faced by disadvantaged children and young people.

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Latest Attendance Figures

The latest figures on school absence add to an ever-more compelling argument that Government needs to be vastly more assertive in its efforts to futureproof schools against the effects of Covid outbreaks.

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Proposal for Awarding Exams Grades in 2021

Five education organisations, representing school leaders, teachers, and governors, have submitted a set of joint proposals to make next summer’s A-levels and GCSEs as fair as possible amidst the ongoing disruption of the Covid pandemic.

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Coronavirus: School Closure Data

The Government’s inability to provide what schools need to ensure they remain open for as long as possible is unacceptable and will affect not only children's education, but the wellbeing of staff and students.

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EPI Annual Report

If the Government is serious about ensuring all pupils receive access to a good quality, equitable education they must put their money where their mouth is and put measures in place to lift pupils out of the grip of poverty and disadvantage. 

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GCSE Results 2020

We commend the students and staff who have supported them this year. They have shown great patience throughout the challenges of lockdown and last week's shambolic uncertainty. 

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Bigger changes needed for 2021

The Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union have written to Gavin Williamson the Education Secretary, setting out why the disastrous handling of this year’s exam results must never happen again.

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A level grades in Wales

NEU Cymru wishes many congratulations to those who have secured expected grades and we trust that the adjustment and appeals processes will be robust enough to deal with all anomalies that may have arisen.

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A-Level Results

The politics of results season 2020 has drowned out the most important point - that students must be congratulated for their hard work and patience through a difficult time for the whole nation.

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Ofqual Summer Symposium

Results from this year's extraordinary exams process are broadly comparable to previous years’ results, and the majority of students will not be disadvantaged by this year's process.

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Coronavirus: Investment in education

NEU Cymru welcomes an increase to the workforce. We believe that supply staff and those new to the profession will welcome the opportunity to provide extra support for those pupils who need it at this challenging time.

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Coronavirus: Schools in September

The Prime Minister's hopes are not enough. He needs a plan for more teachers, to ask teachers who have left the profession to return, and he needs to be finding extra spaces in which they can teach smaller groups.

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Coronavirus - NFER on Remote Learning

The NFER report shows that a quarter of pupils have limited access to IT at home. Gavin Williamson confirmed in the Commons last week that only around half of requests for the Government’s free laptop scheme for disadvantaged students have so far been met.

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Coronavirus: Primary Schools

The government’s social distancing rules made it impossible for primary schools to admit all pupils before the summer holidays. Primary schools and secondary schools will not re-open to all pupils until September at the earliest.

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SAGE advice published

Today, two months since lockdown was introduced, the Government has finally granted access to some of the scientific modelling behind its proposal for schools to open more widely from June 1.

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The science on schools

It's really important that we are absolutely clear what the level of safety is and if it remains the case that we believe it to be unsafe, we will not back the wider opening of schools.

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NEU Covid 19 survey

NEU snapshot survey of over 2,000 school staff shows significant concerns about effectiveness of present social-distancing measures in schools.

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Letter to PM on school opening

In the light of speculation on the re-opening of schools and colleges, the joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union have called on the Prime minister for clarity on how the Government will make such a decision.

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School closure policies

The UCL review indicates that school closures are effective as part of a combination of tactics. Schools can only open safely on the basis of sound scientific reasoning. We are a long way from this point.

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BBC Education Service

In a time of crisis it is welcome that the BBC is not just informing and entertaining, but remembering the other part of their original mission statement: to educate.

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NEU issues guidance on distance learning

The NEU guidance on distance learning out today makes very clear what should be acceptable levels of workload. Normal education is currently suspended, and teachers should not be teaching a full timetable, or routinely marking work.

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Action for supply teachers

Supply teachers, agency teaching assistants and others working in the education sector must have proper financial stability, on a genuine like-for-like with their directly-employed counterparts.

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