As private businesses outside the national collective bargaining structure in the maintained sector, independent schools have greater freedom to set their own terms and conditions of employment.
NEU is recognised by more independent sector employers than any other union. 120 independent schools negotiate staff terms and conditions with NEU, of which roughly half include all support staff as well as teachers.
As a modern trade union, NEU believes in the ethos of the school community and that the contribution of all staff is equally important. Consequently, the NEU welcomes into membership all staff working in the independent sector: teachers and teaching assistants, technicians and librarians, office administration and cleaners, grounds and caretaking staff.
In addition to all the usual services you would expect such as first-class advice and support, NEU commits considerable resources to supporting our members in the independent sector.
NEU is the only trade union to offer all of the following:
- staff solely dedicated to the independent sector.
- an elected independent sector member National Council.
- a termly e-bulletin on independent sector issues.
- an annual Independent Sector Conference, with keynote speakers, seminars, and the opportunity to meet colleagues in the sector.
- an annual Pay & Conditions Survey of the independent sector.
- bespoke advice, such as on the direct application of the Working Time Directive in the independent sector.
- sector specific national and regional meetings.
- campaigning: Protecting independent school teachers' pensions.