Why is it called the Blair Peach Award?

The award is named after the past president of East London NUT who was murdered during an anti-racist demonstration in Southall, London on 23 April 1979.  It was first awarded in 2010.

On the day of his death, Blair Peach was showing solidarity and marching against the presence of the far right National Front. Modern day equivalents to the National Front continue to promote racist and fascist views.  That is why the NEU supports the work of organisations such as HOPE not hate, Unite Against Fascism, Show Racism the Red Card and Kick it Out, Lewis Hamilton Commission.

Blair Peach Award 2021 Winner - Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips, Blair Peach Award winner 2021

Paul Phillips embodies the spirit of the NEU's drive to be an organising and campaigning union that wins on workplace and national issues. Within his school, district and the wider NEU community, Paul has motivated members to taking collective action in defence of their rights to be treated with equality and fairness. 

As the rep at Connaught School for Girls, he has led his members to be actively involved in all equality areas and over a range issues, including support for national and local equality campaigns, such as Black Lives Matter. 

When one of his members was facing disability discrimination and denied adjustments which would keep them at work, Paul, as Rep, led the school membership in taking collective action and won! He’s shared his success and recipe for winning with other District and Branch Officers and at Disabled Members Conference.

Paul has also successfully negotiated a Menopause policy in his school and worked collectively with colleagues to ensure that Black, LGBT+ and Disability History months as well as international women's day are celebrated.  He worked with the local Black Members Officer to run a successful decolonising the curriculum event in Waltham Forest and has been a tireless anti-racist campaigner. 

During Covid Paul has worked locally and in his school to campaign for safe workplaces for all members, with a focus on those at greater risk.

Blair Peach Award 2020 Winner - Doug Morgan

Doug Morgan, Blair Peach Award Winner 2020

Blair Peach award winner 2020 Doug Morgan, Birmingham district Doug has spent his life campaigning for equalities. Fighting tirelessly for others, his calm, passionate determination is an inspiration to all. Recently he has been central to the campaign in Birmingham around relationships and sex education (RSE) teaching. He has encouraged an atmosphere of considered and purposeful mediation in an environment that has been difficult for both the LGBT+ and Muslim communities. He has campaigned within Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools (SEEDS), a group set up to end the protests in Birmingham schools and ensure people understand the reality of RSE teaching.

Doug relentlessly promotes the message “No to Islamophobia, no to homophobia”, which has encouraged members of both communities to unite and fight for equality in education. For many years Doug has worked with Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism, organising local and national events. In 2017, he wrote an open letter to Ofsted opposing the ban on the hijab in schools. Doug says: “No matter what their background, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or religion, every student and every staff member matters. Schools should be places where we celebrate each other and not hide who we are. Classrooms should encourage understanding, debate and learning about our many communities.”