Teachers’ union ‘sabotaging’ school reopenings with list of 200 coronavirus safety demands

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A TEACHERS’ union is accused of sabotaging the reopening of schools with a “nit-picking” list of 200 safety demands.

Militant leaders urged staff to raise objections with heads if they cannot tick all the boxes.

A teachers’ union is accused of sabotaging the reopening of schools with a “nit-picking” list of 200 safety demands

Four of the 200 questions drawn up by the National Education Union

Members of the 450,000-strong National Education Union have been told to “escalate” their action if any of their concerns are not addressed.

But senior MPs branded the 25-page document a “wreckers’ charter” aimed at blocking the return to school next month.

The union has drawn up its “workplace checklist” to help local reps challenge headteachers over back-to-school preparations.

It demands face masks will not be banned in class despite experts’ assurances they are not required.

The questionnaire also calls for:

  • TWO weeks’ paid holiday or home-based working for teachers forced to quarantine after holidays
  • MORE hand-washing or sanitising locations in every school
  • GUARANTEES that the overall working day will not be any longer
  • EXTRA support for wellbeing of staff suffering from workload worries, anxiety or effects of trauma.

NEU boss Mary Bousted told an online meeting with councillors that current guidance was “unworkable”.

And in a separate conflict, heads threatened to defy the Government by only opening for half-days.

But ex-Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “Children have already lost far too many days of education. The NEU needs to focus on finding solutions, not problems.”

Tory MP Robert Halfon, education committee chair, said: “It is incredible not one of these 200 nitpicking questions asks the most important thing of all — what about the kids?

“If this impossible checklist had been compiled for retailers, our supermarkets would still be shut.”

NEU’s Avis Gilmore responded: “This is not nitpicking. This is about the welfare of pupils, school staff and community health and safety.”

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening has criticised the NEU’s approach

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