School Plans

Friday 10th July

UNISON response to Govt Plans to fully re-open schools in September- 3rd July 2020

Government Guidance for full opening of Schools in September 2020

Consultative Pay Ballot 2020/21- Have your say!

Dear Ealing UNISON member

Many of you will be aware that there have been ongoing negotiations with the Employers Side at a National level regarding the 2020/21 Pay Award.   We have now reached the end those negotiations and therefore as per UNISON rules you are being asked to take part of a consultative ballot, on whether you wish to accept or reject the Employers final offer.

The consultative ballot question below is what is being sent to every UNISON member who is covered by NJC Pay (Most of those that work for London Borough of Ealing and most Schools within the Borough).  If you are not sure whether you are eligible to vote, or if you are/are not covered by the NJC – please email the branch directly for the necessary advice.

For your information, your Ealing UNISON Branch Committee previously met twice to discuss the final employers offer, we were specifically asked to consider the offer and decide whether to accept or reject this offer. Ealing UNISON Branch committee unanimously voted to REJECT this offer. This was also the majority outcome across London UNISON Branches.

NJC Pay Offer 2020/21: Consultation Ballot Paper

The Local Government Employers’ NJC pay offer comprises:

With Effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of 2.72% on all NJC pay points 1 and above
With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of one day to the minimum annual leave entitlement as set out at Part 2 Para 7.2 in the National Agreement.
Continued discussions on “a comprehensive joint national review of the workplace cause of stress and mental health”
Discussion, without prejudice, to examine options for ensuring the sector and the NJC pay spine – can meet the challenge of the Government’s target for the National Living wage in the coming years.

The NJC Committee’s view is that this is poor pay offer, which falls short of what members need and deserve and does not reflect their worth.  At the same time, local government is struggling financially and inflation is low, and this is the best offer achievable by negotiation.

Please read the pay offer and the UNISON NJC committee’s view, the consultative ballot statements you are being asked to respond to is:

I wish to ACCEPT the Employers’ pay offer for 2020/21


I wish to REJECT the Employers’ pay offer for 2020/21

Please return you response via email to  – a simple Accept or Reject – with confirmation of your Full name as shown on the UNISON records).

This Consultative Ballot closes at 5pm on Monday 10th August 2020.

Shielding extended to 1st August

Join Unison in Schools Facebook Page

Covid-19 Response Fund- Financial assistance for members- 19th June

Updated Unison FAQs for School Members- 19th June

Govt U-Turn on free summer school meals- 17th June

Learning for Unison Members and Activists

NJC Circ Coronavirus and return to work test trace and hospital admission 12Jun2020

Unison free online CPD, Courses, Resources for members

Govt must learn lessons after limited schools’ reopening

Over two thirds of Ealing Primary Schools will not be increasing pupil numbers until 15th June at the earliest.

From the information we have received as of 9th June, 47 of the 69 Primary Schools in the Borough (68%) are working with their staff, Unions and the LA to safely increase pupil numbers gradually from next Monday 15th June and Unison are busy commenting on and working through general and individual risk assessments to support members and school communities.

Unfortunately, 22 schools (32%) of Primary Schools have increased numbers between 1st-12th June. We have worked with these schools to ensure measures are in place to ensure that risks are mitigated as far as possible and advise all members in schools to read through their school risk assessment and raise comments and concerns with their line manager or head teacher. We will be happy to discuss these assessments with you and help you find the best way to communicate and concerns.

Unison has also created a 1_June_template_letter_for_members for staff to send to your employer should you still feel that your concerns have not been addressed and that it is not safe to attend work.

You can also find a joint union checklist for primary, secondary and special schools (see below) to evaluate whether your school risk assessment covers the main health and safety requirements.

Unison continues to consult with all schools- including special and secondary- to ensure that members health and safety is protected and that you are safe at work.

Ealing Unison Branch officers will be in attendance at the Council and Trade Union Joint Committee tomorrow 10th June and will be pushing councilors including the Council Leader on their response to covid-19 and how best to support schools in Ealing during this time.

If you do wish to get in touch with us for support, advice or representation please email or

Plan for all Primary schools in England t return before summer dropped by govt

Latest Email to Unison School Members with links to template letters- 29th May

Guidance and template letter for vulnerable employees- 28th May

Email to members in Schools- 20th May 2020

Ealing Unison letter to Heads- Risk Assessments- 20th May 2020

Coronavirus Primary Workplace checklist PDF -18th May

Joint union planning guide for secondary schools

Joint union planning guide for special schools

Model-letter-for-school-members to send to Head Teachers

Outcome of Unison National Schools Committee Meeting- 14th May

Find out how Unison’s Charity- There For You- can help

Joint TUC Statement from Education Unions’- 13th May 2020

Unison Short Statement- 11th May

Colleagues, tomorrow we will be working with the other TUC education unions to agree a joint position on returning to schools in response to tonight’s additional guidance from the Department for Education (England) on schools opening. Until then we would advise members not to engage with planning for a return to school on June 1st. Look out for the statement tomorrow

Unison Response to PM’s Statement of 10th May

TUC Joint Statement- 8th May

Unison Local Govt Update- 5th May

Unison Posters and Social Media Graphics

EGFL Gatekeeping Newsletter- 29th April

PPE Not Promises- Unison Advice and Petition- 29th April

NJC Pay Offer and Union Response- 28th April

TUESDAY 28th  April – Is Workers Memorial Day. Please take some time to watch this video made by Camden UNISON.  We would ask all workers to take some time at 11am tomorrow to join with UNISON and all Trade Unionists across the world to think of all those front line workers who have lost there lives not only during this crisis but while doing their job.

Unison National Covid-19 Schools Page

Joint Union Statement on Re-opening of Schools- 16th April

Update on guidance for PPE use in the provision of direct personal care to children with special educational needs

Govt Guidance on Social Distancing in Education Settings-7th April

Govt Guidance on PPE- 12th April 2020

3 April – Covid-19 FAQs school support staff – England and Wales

Visit the News page more information

Ealing Schools Volunteer Database

Volunteer Database – For Schools

Ealing are seeking to establish a database of volunteers from within the current workforce in Ealing Schools who are willing to be deployed to other schools in Ealing should the need arise.

Staff  should not volunteer unless they can be released by their own school and remember that the scheme is voluntary.  Any staff that are already self-isolating or not working due to age or a pre-existing medical condition are not to complete the questionnaire.


Once Ealing LA start to get replies they will be able to download them into a spreadsheet and send this to Heads who request it along with a password to open the spreadsheet.


Of course we will be negotiating with Schools and the Council to ensure that those volunteer staff who work during periods of school closure to ensure that staff are appropriately compensated in this eventuality.


Schools in UK to close to most Pupils from Friday 20th March. Provision

The Government have announced that UK Schools will be closed from Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

The Government have said that children of key workers such as NHS staff, Police and delivery drivers will continue to be educated.

The Government also released guidance yesterday evening on:

How Schools will maintain educational provision for keyworker and vulnerable children(Including a list of those considered to be keyworkers)

Continuing to provide free school meals to all pupils who qualify

All maintained Schools in the Borough of Ealing will be open from Monday 23rd March to provide educational provisions for keyworker and vulnerable children only. Unison is clear that schools an the Local Authority should:

  • Continue full pay for all staff and guarantee full pay for contractors (catering, cleaning etc) and agency staff during this emergency period;
  • Suspend all sickness absence procedures and ensure no detriment to staff;
  • Conduct health and safety risk assessments, provide protective equipment and ensure the school is fully stocked with all necessary cleaning products;
  • Postpone redundancies, restructures, TUPE transfers and non urgent disciplinary hearings (etc) during this period, to free up resources and to reduce the number of people going into schools;
  • Work with unions and employers locally and nationally to help get schools and pupils and staff through the crisis, with both sides recognising the need for flexibility;
  • Arrange rotas and schedules to reduce the number of staff required on site while still providing safe care for children who need to attend. With vastly reduced pupil numbers, there is no need for all staff to work on site each day. Home working (where the role permits) for staff not scheduled to be on site will also better achieve the recommended social distancing of staff and pupils in school.
  • Adopt the approach of asking for volunteers first on issues of redeployment and additional hours;
  • Ensure staff are fully paid for working through the Easter holidays.


The Government is clear that Schools and families need to follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

Ealing LA are finalising their scheme to ensure FSM pupils who are not attending school can continue to have lunch provided for them during this difficult time.

Schools are liaising with their on-site catering services and catering providers to make sure plans are in place to provide free school meals to eligible pupils attending school on site.

Asked whether schools that have already closed to pupils will be forced to re-open to key worker children, the PM says the government will work to ensure that – where necessary – schools will provide facilities for those pupils.

Read the BBC news article on School Closures here

Schools, Charities and Local Authorities will be working together to provide food for pupils on free school meals

Government answer promised after school shutdown confusion

“Not every school [will be] providing the service for key workers and the vulnerable,” he adds.

However, he says that on Monday 23 March vulnerable children and the children of key-worker parents should turn up to their current school as normal.

Ealing Unison and sister Trade Unions will be in close communication and consultation with the Local Authority over the coming days to clarify the Council’s response to these announcements and work out how these measures will be implemented. We will update members as soon as possible via this website and email.