Advice & Support
Members seeking advice should contact the Advice Line by telephoning 0345 811 8111 – 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday or emailing AdviceLine@neu.org.uk
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New NEU Behaviour advice for schools
Reviewing your behaviour policy after Covid is the NEU’s latest recovery advice for schools. It focuses on schools creating a sense of belonging and the mental health and well-being of students as key factors in fostering a good behaviour environment in school. It also sets out advice on why a Zero Tolerance approach to behaviour does not work and looks at ways of reducing exclusions. The advice includes practical solutions to consider when looking at your behaviour policy and a whole school behaviour approach. We believe that this positive behaviour approach will enable the most inclusive practice in schools in the recovery period.
The NEU would welcome any feedback from schools where they have made positive changes to the behaviour policy as part of the pandemic recovery programme – email firstname.lastname@example.org
The TUC has launched an online survey for workers who are experiencing/have experienced Long Covid, which aims to better understand their experiences at work and what additional workplace support they need. Please promote the survey to colleagues.
Members with confirmed or suspected long covid symptoms may require an assessment of their circumstances and the protections available to them in law, including a possible entitlement to reasonable adjustments, as well as enhanced sick pay under the Burgundy and Green Books. Reps and local officers are encouraged to refer to the guidance. It will be updated regularly to take account of developments in casework and the law.
Qualification grading guidance
In the absence of clear guidance from Government on awarding secondary qualifications following cancellation of this summer’s exams, the NEU has produced its own advice to help schools plan for the summer term. The advice is for those who are awarding GCSEs, A-levels and AS levels, as well as similar vocational and technical qualifications. The union is also pressing for Government to release further guidelines as soon as possible. To seek collective discussions through their workplace rep where possible, with school and college leaders about how this process will be managed in the summer term. Please can you support and advise members on this.
NEU Anti-Racist Framework
The NEU Anti-Racist Framework (ARF), sometimes referred to as the Anti-Racist Charter, was published in June 2020. Many reps and members have been working with the Framework and received training on how to use it. We are now evaluating its impact. Please complete this short survey and encourage others to do so too.
Enforcing pregnancy and maternity rights during the pandemic
Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment. Intransigent employers can be directed to this government advice.
The science shows that amongst pregnant women, the highest risk of becoming severely unwell with Covid is for those who are in their third trimester, that is 28 weeks pregnant or beyond; they must be able to adhere to active national guidance on social distancing. For details, see our guidance for higher risk groups, including pregnant women.
Employers cannot force pregnant women to start their maternity leave early. Maternity leave can only be triggered early if the baby is born early, if the mother gives notice to start maternity leave early, or if she is absent for a pregnancy-related reason in the last four weeks of her pregnancy.
Please share links to the NEU advice on Coronavirus: pregnancy, maternity and childcare and let your Women’s Organising Forum members know about your successes.
Agency Workers and School Pay Policies
An agency teacher has succeeded in recovering back pay at the proper rate of UPS1. The Trust she worked at had committed in its pay policy to the principle of pay portability and had agreed to apply this principle in practice when making all new appointments. The decision isn’t binding on other tribunals but is a great example of how we can win for agency members by negotiating robust pay policies.
Resources and guidance for officers can be found in Bargaining for alternatives to agencies (A2A) for supply educators.
NEU Evidence to School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB)
The NEU evidence to the STRB on teacher pay in England sent on 17 February underlines our opposition to the pay freeze, our call for the abolition of PRP and its replacement with a fair pay structure. The evidence also includes a call for urgent action to tackle workload problems. We have also sent to the STRB the report on the latest NEU pay and progression survey, which included responses from over 26,000 members.
We also secured a joint union statement to the STRB with ASCL, NAHT and Voice. The statement underlined the unity of the profession on key pay issues such as opposition to the pay freeze and the need to replace PRP with fair pay arrangements.
The NEU evidence and joint union statement can be found here.
Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations
The government has announced that it will be revoking the Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020, which place a £95,000 cap on public sector exit payments. The regulations were introduced in November 2020 but clashed with pre-existing contractual rights. The Government has backed down in advance of a Judicial Review. Please contact any members who have been affected by the cap as they should request from their former employer the amount they would have received had the cap not been in place.
The Covid-19 pages of the website have been updated – find all you need here.
Creating a sense of place and belonging in schools
The NEU commissioned research offers examples of how intentional whole-school practice can help create a climate of welcome and belonging in school. A purposeful approach which brings everyone on board, enriches the lives of all concerned and sets the school on a positive and upward trajectory.
Use the NEU Pay Toolkit to secure pay progression, by taking collective action or by pursuing and winning appeals against decisions that individual teachers should not progress.
Spotlight on: Financial Advice
Lighthouse Financial Advice are our preferred partner in finance. They are currently running surgeries and webinars for our members to learn more about their services.
“Financial Telephone Surgery ; The telephone surgery gives the members the opportunity to have a 30 minute complimentary consultation with a financial adviser over the phone at a convenient time to suit them. We are running them over three days to be as flexible as possible for members, allowing for home working, schooling etc.
The format is:
Day 1; 10.00am – 12.00pm
Day 2; 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Day 3; 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Financial Webinar: We are running themed online webinars on financial subjects such as Pre-Retirement, Redundancy & General Financial Planning etc. The Webinar is held online for up to 50 people, at a time that suits you and is accessible on personal devices such as Laptop, iPad etc. To be as flexible as possible we are running them at a time that suits you best, allowing for home working, schooling etc.”
For further guidance, contact John Duffy,our Regional Affinity Manager…
Book your complimentary, no obligation initial consultation by calling freephone 0800 085 85 90 or by visiting the Lighthouse website.
This framework is a response to the ‘Barriers’ report which was based on the testimony of over 1000
Black teachers about the impact of racism in their workplaces