The NEU, in partnership with other organisations, supports a wide range of international campaigns which aim to: support teachers and their unions, advance high quality education for all, work towards poverty reduction and sustainable development, and promote human rights.

Beyond the Blockade: Education in Cuba

Beyond the Blockade is a collection of essays on Cuba’s education system written by British educators from their observations and experiences in a series of study tours to the socialist island. 

Publication was funded by the NEU, edited in part by Gawain Little and includes a Forward written by NEU Joint General Secretary Kevin Courtney. 

Education in Cuba - manifesto book

The book is available to purchase from Manifesto Press.  NEU Members get a discount by entering their membership number at checkout. 

Take action by writing to your local MP on the Rohingya refugee crisis

In July the NEU hosted a webinar on the humanitarian crisis facing Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. 

To support the Rohingya, NEU members were instructed to lobby their MPs and to advocate locally by all of the experts on the webinar. This included Hazel Danson (NEU National Treasurer), Sirazul Islam (Youth Advocate, British Rohingya Community), Yasmin Qureshi MP (Shadow Minister, Department for International Development) and Bill Van Esveld (Associate Director, Human Rights Watch). 

Take action by using the sample email below to write to your local MP on the educational crisis facing Rohingya children and the humanitarian crisis that is severely hitting the wider community. 

You can find your local MP and their contact details on the Parliament website. 

  • Email your MP - sample email

    Dear XXXXX

    I write to you as a teacher/parent/governor/concerned member of the public from your constituency about the Rohingya refugee crisis and children’s denial of education.

    Like me, you will no doubt remember that in August 2017, 740,000 ethnic Rohingya were forced to flee Myanmar and enter Bangladesh as they fled rape, massacres and ethnic cleansing. This followed decades of statelessness, systematic discrimination and targeted violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

    Despite the passage of time, be in no doubt that Rohingya refugees continue to face a humanitarian emergency. 800,000 Rohingya in Bangladesh need humanitarian assistance, according to UNHCR. Aid groups have also warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if COVID-19 is not contained, but cases have already been found in the refugee camps. Low testing capacity, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and a weak health infrastructure all increase the risk of transmission.

    Of serious concern is the cruel, continued and senseless denial of education; 400,000 Rohingya children in Bangladesh are being denied their right to a quality education. These children, who have already lost almost three years of school, currently face no prospect of formal, accredited, quality education. This has been described by Human Rights Watch as the result of intentionally obstructive policies by the Bangladesh government.

    In 2019 the UK provided an unprecedented £90 million in new funding for Education Cannot Wait (the global fund dedicated to education in crises and emergencies). However, this ambitious funding must also be matched with targeted leadership from the UK Government if Rohingya children in Bangladesh are to realise their right to education.

    As my constituency MP, I am therefore asking you to write to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and call on the Government to:

    • Publicly call on Bangladesh to allow all Rohingya children access to formal, accredited education from pre-primary through secondary school.
    • Coordinate international donors to persuade and support the Bangladesh government to lift educational restrictions that violate Rohingya refugee children’s right to education, focusing on allowing access to formal education, instruction in the Bangla language, secondary education, and the Bangla curriculum.
    • Ensure that funding to education in Bangladesh promotes the integration of refugee children in national education systems, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees
    • Ensure that funding considers the specific needs of the most marginalised including girls and disabled children

    I would be grateful if you could raise these concerns with the Prime Minister. As my member of Parliament, I would also be interested to hear your thoughts in response to the concerns I have raised.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely,

    XXXXXXX

Inclusive humanitarian response for the Rohingya in the face of COVID-19

The Joint General Secretaries have written a letter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK urging an inclusive humanitarian response for the Rohingya people in the face of COVID-19. 

The Bangladesh Government have played an important role in hosting Rohingya refugees who were forced to flee atrocities perpetrated against them in Myanmar. However, deep concern still exists for the human rights and wellbeing of the Rohingya people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NEU joins civil society organisations in welcoming international finance corporation decision to move away from for-profit education investments

The NEU was one of a number of signatories to a press statement welcoming the official commitment of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to freeze investments in private for-profit pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools.

Civil society organisations applaud this landmark decision by the IFC, which responds to the concerns voiced by civil society about the effects on segregation and exclusion, inadequate education quality, avoidance of standards and regulations, poor labour conditions, and profit-seeking behaviour of commercial schools.

It reflects the growing recognition of the harm caused by profit-oriented education, and the importance of the right to public education as a central component of global education policy. 

Events

News and articles

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    Organising for international solidarity

    Solidarity is a key trade union value. The NEU stands in solidarity with the many teachers around the world who are unable to carry out their vocation as they languish in prison, simply because they are trade unionists.

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    Kashmir

    The NEU stands in solidarity with people of Kashmir against heightened militarisation, violence and information black-out.

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    Education and Unions in Cuba: Report of the 2018 Solidarity Delegation

    In 2018, a delegation of members went to Cuba to examine current educational provision in rural and urban environments. The group visited primary, secondary, special educational needs and arts schools; met teachers and trade unions; and took part in historical, cultural and community visits.

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    Human rights abuses of children and families in the USA

    Following the announcement of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy on unauthorised immigration announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April 2018, the US has been systematically, and intentionally, separating children as young as five from their asylum-seeking parents.

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    Palestine

    Commenting on the passing of Motion 31 at the Annual Conference of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights notes* the occupation of Palestine continues to severely impact on the lives of millions of Palestinians,

Campaigns we support

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    Send my friend to school

    The National Education Union is a core supporter of Send My Friend to School, the campaign which brings together thousands of children across the UK to speak up for the right to education and remind world leaders of their promise that all children should get the chance to go to school.

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    Back Off Backing Bridge: Pearson

    Bridge International is one of the largest education for-profit companies in the world, operating in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, India and Liberia. The education market is worth trillion. Not surprisingly there has been an expansion in the number of businesses seeking to make a profit from it.

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    NEU International affiliations

    Solidarity is at the heart of the NEU, be that domestically or internationally, internally or externally. We work in partnership with a variety of international campaigns and organisations to deliver our goals and theirs.