The National Education Union (NEU) will come into existence on 1 September 2017.

With more than 450,000 members, it will represent the majority of teachers and educational professionals in the UK.

A game-changer for education

By joining a union and acting together at work you can make a difference to the issues that are important to you. The National Education Union, with more members in more workplaces, will bring you and your colleagues closer together to improve your working lives, and will share your views on policies and campaigns which shape, rather than react to, government initiatives.

Representing the entire education workforce the National Education Union will have a powerful and persuasive voice when championing the rights of teachers and education professionals, and standing up for education.


Bringing together the best of ATL and the NUT, the National Education Union will provide you with a wide range of CPD, unrivalled publications and other resources to help you develop your skills and guide your students, as well as offering you enhanced support and advice from a combined team of local reps, officers and legal experts should you face a problem at work.

The National Education Union will be the largest education union in the UK. Whether you’re a trainee, newly qualified or experienced teacher, lecturer, support staff or leader – working in a local authority, academy or independent school, sixth form college or FE/HE – you will be able to join the NEU.

ATL, The Education Union


Frequently Asked Questions

Given the current challenges in education, the NEU, with combined resources, aims to give its members: excellent advice, support and representation; learning and development opportunities; and a stronger voice in local and national negotiations and campaigns. This new union will not replicate what already exists. It is a chance for ATL and the NUT to work as equal partners to build on what works well within ATL and the NUT and within other unions. The NUT is the largest teachers’ union in state schools in England and Wales while ATL has influence in every sector and role across the UK’s education workforce. 

The NEU will be neither ATL nor the NUT. This is a great opportunity to create a union ready to meet the current challenges and able to speak with authority as the voice of education professionals.

ATL and the NUT support the same types of members in England and Wales including teachers, leaders and managers, and independent and sixth form sectors. ATL also supports lecturers and leaders in FE and HE, as well as support staff across every sector. ATL also organises in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The NEU will offer membership and a democratic voice to every existing membership category.

Your subscription will not be affected for 2017. At the point when we start operating as a new union, no ATL or NUT member will pay a higher subs rate than they were paying before that date. 

From 1 September 2017 - until that time, teachers, lecturers and support staff will join either the NUT or ATL. You should join the union which you feel best meets your needs. At this point in the process, we don’t offer joint membership.

During spring 2017, eligible members of ATL and the NUT were balloted separately over whether they wished to create a new union. The National Education Union will form on 1 September 2017 with a transition period until amalgamation is complete on 1 January 2019.

The ballot was held after delegates at separate NUT and ATL special conferences on 5 November 2016, voted overwhelmingly in favour of balloting the wider membership on whether to create a new union or not. These conferences were held after two years of informal then formal talks between the unions, conducted by the Joint Officer Group, whose members reported back to their Executive Committees, associations, district and branches and Annual Conferences in 2015 and 2016 on the progress of talks and proposed structures, rules and timeframes.

After a transitional period, the new union will have joint general secretaries for five years until 2023.

At this stage, NUT and ATL members across sectors and roles will continue to receive the same support, advice and CPD from their individual unions as they do now. ATL and NUT members will remain in their ATL and NUT sections until the NEU fully integrates on 1 January 2019. Over the coming months, however, by consolidating our current resources, the NEU will deliver even better support for our members: casework; policy development; campaigns and lobbying; and our CPD offer.

In terms of facilities time, ATL and the NUT have agreed that during the transition period, local ATL and NUT reps will retain existing and separate facility time and, after the transition period, that facility time will be allocated in line with existing ratios of ATL and NUT facility time.

The NUT and ATL have very similar policies and already work closely together in talks with the government. Both unions believe that dialogue is crucial with industrial action a last resort. The NUT’s industrial strategy has, in recent years, included action short of strike action backed by occasional regional and national strikes. ATL members have actively pursued strategies to defend members' pay and conditions including taking industrial action on a local and regional basis. The new union will reflect the wishes of the wider membership on how to make their voices heard, which will include indicative surveys before action can go ahead with no member penalised for not taking action.

You can find out more via ATL's NEU hub and the NUT website.

NEU banner

Joining the National Education Union

Join the ATL or NUT today to automatically transfer to NEU membership on 1 September 2017.

Alternatively you can apply to join the National Education Union from 1 September 2017. Use the form below to give us your details and we'll contact you about joining in September.

If you are already an ATL or NUT member, you will be automatically transferred into NEU membership on 1 September 2017.