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Drug and alcohol policy checklist

This checklist should be used alongside the NEU’s model Drug and Alcohol policy to help you negotiate a policy acceptable to the union.

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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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Computer safety

This briefing gives guidance on health and safety precautions for staff and pupils working with information & communications technology (ICT) equipment, including computers, keyboards, display screens, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

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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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Domestic abuse and the workplace

An NEU toolkit to support members affected at work by domestic abuse. Model policy, guidance, poster, FAQs and a checklist for reps and leaders. #NEURNotAlone

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Health and Safety Month 2020

NEU Health and Safety Month was to empower members, reps and officers with skills and knowledge to ensure schools and colleges are as safe as they can be, during the pandemic and beyond.

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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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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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Safety committees

This briefing sets out the objectives and benefits of safety committees, in addition to advice and guidance on their composition, inception, and remit.

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Health and safety reps

NEU health and safety representatives play a vital role in promoting safety in the workplace by representing members and employees’ interests on health and safety issues.

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Vermin and pest control

This briefing lists the most common sorts of school infestation, together with control measures that should be in place in all schools.

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Advice on working through the menopause, guides and checklists for leaders and school reps and the NEU's model menopause policy.


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Health and safety in independent schools

This briefing summarises the basic framework of health and safety law in the context of independent schools; and in particular the pivotal role played by NEU health and safety representatives in upholding safety standards in the workplace.

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Use of CO2 monitors

Your employer should be monitoring readings from all the CO2 monitors in your school. See our tips on how to make the most effective use of CO2 monitors.

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Coronavirus: 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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Back care - awareness and prevention

This advice sets out how to spot hazards in low/“child” height working environments, and includes simple practical measures to prevent and reduce, pain, strain and injury.

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Photographic policies

NEU Guidance for Members, Reps and Local Officers around the development and implementation of photograpic policies in schools

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Drug and alcohol- model policy

This policy forms part of the employer’s overall commitment to safety, good employee relations and the promotion of health, safety and welfare at work.

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Fire safety

This briefing sets out NEU advice on the requirements of the fire legislation covering schools and on fire safety precautions to be followed in schools. It takes account of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

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Keeping happy and healthy

This guidance document is aimed at NEU members who are worried that their mental health is suffering because of the demands of their work. It will also be of use to NEU members who are considering returning to work following a spell of absence due to a mental health condition.

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Safety of school minibuses

This page outlines the key legal requirements for drivers and operators of school minibuses and describes the support school staff should be given before they agree to drive a school minibus.

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Falls from height

This NEU briefing provides guidance to safety representatives and members on taking action to reduce the incidence of accidents and injuries due to falls from height, including the legal requirements on employers, practical steps which can be taken and sources of further advice and information.

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The role of the safety rep

Safety representatives play a vital role in promoting safety in the workplace. This briefing covers the appointment of safety reps and their rights and functions.

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Safety inspections

This briefing advises safety reps on the steps to be taken in arranging and carrying out safety inspections and preparing inspection reports

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Managing Health and Safety

This briefing considers the management of health and safety in schools and colleges and the respective roles of the employer, governing body, head teacher and other staff of the school.

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Health and Safety Legal Framework

This NEU briefing tells you about the framework of health and safety law - in particular about the legal duties placed on employees, employers and others by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and about other sources of health and safety law.

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Protecting staff mental health

It is important to understand the extent of governing body’s responsibilities for managing health, safety and welfare of teachers and ways in which the NEU and governors can work together to safeguard the mental health of teachers.

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Risk assessment

This advice gives information on the legal requirement for employers to carry out risk assessments and the extent to which teachers and school staff can be required to assist in the process.

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Safety in practical lessons

This advice gives NEU guidance on the law’s requirements on assessing the safety of practical activities and on taking steps to ensure that these do not pose risks to the safety of staff or pupils.

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Older teachers

This advice considers a number of health and social issues which may affect older school staff and suggests sources of further information and support.

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Mobile phone photography

This advice focuses on the potential of mobile phone photography to lead to bullying and harassment of others within the school community.

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Menopause guide and checklist for reps

The menopause is an occupational health issue for women educators, as well as being an equality issue. It is important that schools and colleges are suitable workplaces for menopausal women. The purpose of this guide and checklist for reps is to signpost you to advice, and to support you in improving workplace conditions for menopausal women.

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Menopause guide and checklist for leaders

NEU leadership members are key to supporting women going through the menopause in the workplace. As a leader, you’re not alone. Collaboration between leaders, governors, workplace reps, health and safety reps and a staff support network can go a long way towards creating a supportive environment for women experiencing menopause symptoms at work.

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Working through the menopause

The purpose of this guidance is to suggest practical ways in which the school and college environment can be improved for women who are going through the menopause.

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Tuberculosis in Schools

This briefing gives information about tuberculosis (TB) and steps to be taken when cases arise in schools among students or teachers.

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Work Equipment

Employers must seek to ensure, again ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’, that non-employees are not exposed to risks to their health or safety.

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Voice care for teachers

Advice for teachers on voice care, including spotting problems, simple preventative measures and information on how and when to seek appropriate specialist help

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Tackling stress

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.

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Violence in schools

Advice on violence issues in schools and colleges, in particular how this should be tackled by employers, and student behaviour.

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Private tuition

It is common for teachers to offer private tuition to students. Before doing so, there are several important issues to consider, such as legal and insurance protection and health and safety issues.

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Sun safety

How schools can help protect pupils from sun exposure and advice around sunscreen.

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Work and suicide

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

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Stress risk assessment

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.

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Standards for school premises (Wales)

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.

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Standards for school premises (England)

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.

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The case for sprinklers in schools

Every year, many schools are damaged or destroyed by fires, affecting the education of thousands of pupils, and causing millions of pounds worth of damage. The impact of fires is significantly reduced by fitting sprinklers in schools.

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School security

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

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Lone working

As teachers and school staff often work on their own, there are some key health and safety issues that employers must consider.

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Hygiene control 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.

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Hepatitis in schools

Advice on what precautions to take when a case of viral hepatitis arises in a school or where a known carrier of the disease is a pupil in the school.

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Epilepsy in schools

Advice on how to deal with epilepsy and seizures in schools, including how to recognise when a pupil might be having a seizure.

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Asbestos in schools

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

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School car parks

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.


Press release

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Vaccines for Clinically Vulnerable Children

This announcement won't have an impact on transmission rates in schools or make a significant difference to the turbulence that schools and colleges are experiencing due to Covid. This makes the case stronger for Government to introduce better mitigations. 

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Data on School Inspections

Routine inspections have been an ​unnecessary distraction during this term. Government has recognised this and has at least paused inspections until January, but they must go further.

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School Attendance Data

Half term provided a reduction in the rates of transmission, which was foreseeable, but we do not have that fire shield to get us through the remainder of autumn term.

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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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Flu Vaccines

The NEU welcomes the news that there will be a mass vaccination programme against the flu including of children.

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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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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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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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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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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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Keep early years safe and funded

The National Education Union and UNISON have highlighted a series of funding and safety issues ministers must address to ensure community safety around the care and education of young children. 

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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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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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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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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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Key workers

This is a very long list and could result in some schools having the majority of pupils attending. This will not achieve the goal of slowing the spread of the virus.

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Spread of coronavirus

Schools have an important role to play, but we are concerned about suggestions in recent days that larger class sizes will be recommended for indefinite periods.

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