In the Education Minister’s announcement on 3rd June it was confirmed that secondary schools should be open to all pupils on 29 June but on the basis of working up to a maximum of a third of pupils attending school at any one time. We oppose the date and called for a September opening once all of our safety tests have been met. We are still lobbying on this matter.
The opening of schools includes vulnerable children and children of critical workers in all year groups.
If your school re-opens on 29 June the NEU wants to work with our reps to ensure the safest possible return.
The NEU checklist for secondary schools must be completed before school wider opening, even on the more limited basis now proposed. If you do not have a rep in your school, volunteer to meet your head/principal and go through the checklist. We can support you to do this and you will have the authority of the NEU behind you, ensuring a safer return to school or college for you, your colleagues and the children.
In the next few days your rep will be sent our app to help you fill in the checklist.
The NEU has also issued advice for vulnerable staff. We do not think that vulnerable staff, or those living with vulnerable relatives, should be working in school. Use the checklist to assess your situation and the model letter contained within if you want to inform your school leader that you think it unsafe to be working in school.
The greater risk posed to Black* people from Covid-19 is well known. The NEU thinks that Black employees, who are concerned about their vulnerability, should be protected in the same way as other staff who are clinically vulnerable. *Black staff should also use this letter if they wish.
Provided contact tracing is running and cases continue to fall, planning for a wider opening from 29 June is something to work on, ensuring all the aspects of our checklist, protection of vulnerable staff and social distancing are all in place.
* Black – The NEU uses the term Black as an inclusive term to signify the anti-racist organising of all African, African Caribbean, Asian people and all those that face racism as a result of the colour of their skin.