NEU Update

Tuesday June 23rd
We have reached the stage where almost all our schools are open to wider groups of students and we have worked hard to make sure that this has been done safely – I do want to thank all our Reps for the work you have done.
It is important that all arrangements are reviewed regularly and adapted where necessary – we are suggesting a weekly meeting with your head to do this.
We are meeting with the Local Authority and health officials on Friday to discuss the advice for schools where a child or member of staff displays symptoms. At the moment the LA advice is that the child or staff member should be sent home and asked to be tested. If the test is positive then all members of the “bubble” should be sent home and tested. Some schools are going further than this and sending everyone home as soon as anyone displays symptoms. We hope to get more clarification on this from Friday and also on the arrangements for testing. In the meantime please do get in touch if you have any concerns.
As well as continuing to support members in schools the NEU has started to focus on the discussion about what provision should be in place as we recover from lockdown. Our Union has been unfairly criticised by politicians suggesting we do not care about children, particularly disadvantaged children. Nothing could be further from the truth and the NEU has produced the attached 10 point plan outlining some steps that we think need to be taken to support children and families. Point two of the plan calls for an extension to the free school meals programme into the summer holiday and we are pleased that the government has now given into pressure and agreed that this will happen.
We will be discussing this plan with Tower Hamlets LA and how we can implement some of it locally and will consider a Zoom meeting to discuss further.
As you will know, we are holding a meeting on Tuesday to disucss how teachers and support staff can work together to develop anti-racist strategies, particularly with regard to the curriculum and teaching and learning. We will be joined by Daniel Kebede (NEU Executive Black constituency seat holder) and Karen Chouhan (NEU lead policy officer for race equality),
But, the main aim of the meeting is to hear from members who have successfully developed projects and resources. If you or any colleagues have something you would like to share at the meeting please do let us know. We have over a hundred people registered already so please do sign up and encourage others to come along.
As you will know, all arrangements for appraisal and performance management have been suspended during this crisis. This means that teachers will not have been able to complete their appraisal review and demonstrate that they have met their targets. In the light of this the NEU will be calling for all teachers to be awarded pay progression in September – it would clearly be unfair for anyone to be refused on the basis of an incomplete review. This is something we will want NEU groups to discuss and take to heads before the end of term – we will send further information in the next week or so, but please do raise this with your head if you get a chance and let us know what they say.
17th June 2020
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