New app to help teachers 'escalate' Covid disputes

App aims to help teachers 'quickly seek outside help' amid fears of slipping Covid-19 safety standards
3rd November 2020, 11:30am

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New app to help teachers 'escalate' Covid disputes

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/new-app-help-teachers-escalate-covid-disputes
Coronavirus & Schools: A New App Has Been Launched To Help Teachers 'escalate' Concerns About Safety In Schools

The NEU teaching union has launched an app to allow teachers to escalate disputes with school leaders over Covid-19 safety.

Joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said that the new app was aimed at helping teachers to ensure that while schools were open, they are as safe as possible and not contributing to the spread of the coronavirus.

Asked about media reports that the app could be used to spark strike action, the NEU did not confirm or deny this possibility, but stated to Tes: "The NEU will always seek to resolve concerns without recourse to industrial action."

Coronavirus: Safety concerns in schools

The launch comes as the union is pushing to have schools closed to all but vulnerable pupils and children of key workers during the four weeks of national lockdown starting this week.

A tweet from the NEU this morning highlighted this app as the latest part of the union's #PutSchoolsInTheLockdown campaign.


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The NEU has also launched an online petition, signed by more than 150,000 teachers and support staff, which calls for an amendment to the lockdown bill set to go before Parliament tomorrow so that it includes the closure of schools to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Commenting on the new "Escalation App", Mr Courtney said: "For as long as schools and colleges remain open, they have to be as safe a working and learning environment as possible. Otherwise, put simply, they will contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

"Throughout 2020 our members and reps have worked with school and college leaders during this difficult time, and the proportion of settings which fully opened in September is a testament to that. But it is also the case that standards can slip, and new issues emerge.

The NEU has launched a new app to allow teachers to escalate Covid concerns.

"Our new app allows reps to keep a real-time record of concerns and the progress of efforts to tackle them. Most problems can be resolved at school or college level, but when they are not, the NEU Escalation App will enable members to quickly seek outside help."

The app gives NEU members a four-stage process to follow to escalate their concerns.  These comprise:

  • Stage 1: You have discussed your concerns as members and are planning an NEU meeting.
  • Stage 2: Your union group is going to meet with the headteacher and/or SLT to raise concerns.
  • Stage 3: Your concerns haven't been dealt with by leadership and you want to escalate further.
  • Stage 4: Your union group wants further support.

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