photo of Kathryn Peers, Leeds Primary workplace rep

Kathryn Peers

NEU Workplace Rep

“During the pandemic and school closures, my head teacher had not implemented a rota system for staff. There was an expectation that all staff would be in the building, and those not working with key worker groups would be assigned to do other tasks (such as displays).

“I spoke to the NASUWT rep at my school and we agreed to send an email to our head teacher outlining the reasons why a rota system was needed. After some consideration, a rota system was put in place and those staff members who were not directly working with key worker groups were able to work from home and were given assigned tasks by their phase leader.

“In July 2021, I held a joint union meeting with NEU and NASUWT members to discuss the directed time calendar moving forward for the autumn term. One thing that was raised was the school day and the length of lunch. Members wanted to know if we were still going to be working on reduced times due to Covid-19, or if we were able to go back to our normal working day and lunch break.

“I met with my head teacher to feed back the comments that staff had made and she decided the best thing to do would be to send out a survey to all staff to gather opinions and then she would make her decision based on that.

“The results came back that staff would prefer to have a hour lunch break and work the normal school day, rather than have a reduced lunch break of 45 minutes and a shorter school day. This was implemented from September 2021.”

Kathryn is scheduling a further NEU member meeting in the year, focusing on organising around the workload toolkit.