Update 3rd November 2020

Our meeting last night was attended by 148 NEU members, which is fantastic and we had a very good discussion about the latest situation facing schools.

Here is a quick report, starting with the things we want Reps to do:

1. Call a meeting for members in your school
2. Discuss the attached motion for school groups 3. Ask members to sign the open letter to Sadiq Khan
4. Encourage colleagues to register for the London meeting with Sadiq Khan
5. Look out for the NEU Reps App to help you in your role
6. Consider the report on our workload survey and any issues for your school

NEU calls for schools to be part of lockdown

The NEU has called for schools to be closed as part of a lockdown or circuit breaker. The Union has done so because ONS data show that schools are an engine for virus transmission.

The latest figures from the ONS estimate that 1% of primary pupils and 2% of secondary pupils have the virus and that these levels have increased dramatically since wider opening in September. NEU analysis of ONS figures shows that virus levels are now 9 times higher amongst primary pupils and an astonishing 50 times higher amongst secondary pupils.
Some members at our meeting last night did not agree with this call by the NEU, so we do want to hear what members in schools think.

Please use the model motion as the basis for discussion with colleagues in your school. If you wish to amend the motion in the light of that discussion, please do so and send us the version agreed in your school – your discussions will help shape what we do.

A London plan

The NEU is writing to Sadiq Khan and London Councils asking them to work with us on developing a sustainable plan for London schools. The plan is outlined in the model motion and this open letter which we want members to signour suggestions are:

  • Regular testing for school staff
  • CEV and CV staff to be given the option of working from home
  • Schools to prepare for moving to a rota system
  • Local Authorities to deploy pools of supply teachers to cover absences
  • Local Authorities to look at using extra buildings to ease crowding and reduce bubble sizes in larger schools

Again we would really like to hear what members in your school think about this – let us know if you have other suggestions.

Survey of safety and workload

We received over seven hundred responses to our survey of members, that is over 30% of members which is high for an email survey. See the link for a draft report on the survey, which has highlighted a number of common concerns – what is clear is that the current intensity of work staff are doing to support children and families is not sustainable.

We will be discussing this with the Local Authority and headteachers and will be proposing that we develop some common approaches across our schools.

We suggest that you share this report with colleagues and try to identify any key issues for your school. We can produce a version of our survey for individual schools – if you would like to do one for your school please get in touch.

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