National Council – independent sector

The National Council – the independent sector is an elected member group that helps organise and promote the engagement of members working in the independent sector.

It is one of the dedicated representative groups representing several specific Sections or specific interest groups. In respect of members working in the independent or FE sector; or members working in support staff or leadership roles; these groups are called National Councils. Other groups are known as Organising Forums.

The Constituency of the National Council

The group comprises representatives elected by Regional/Wales Councils and 3 Executive members.  Regional/Wales representation is based on 3 per area (at least two of whom should be female) with 5 from the London Region (at least three of whom should be female).  The Executive will elect one of the Executive members as Chair, and the Vice-Chair will be elected by the Regional/Wales representatives.



The focus of Regional/Wales National Council representatives is to encourage and facilitate the active participation of independent sector members in the union. Amongst other things, this includes helping to develop local activist networks, promoting local sector events or campaigns.

Integral to this is working with colleagues on the Regional/Wales Council.  This includes attending, and providing a written report to, the Regional/Wales Council meeting.


The Executive may ask the National Council to consider and advise on policy issues relating to the sector, to allow more detailed work than strategy committees are able to undertake.

Organising and/or policy recommendations will go to the Executive and/or its strategy committees, as determined by the Officer Steering Group.

National Council meetings

The group meets once a term. This is usually on a Saturday in London, expenses are paid. Though, because of the pandemic, meetings have been on Zoom.

The purpose of the meetings is to share experiences and ideas on:

  • organising regional sector activities
  • promoting and supporting the engagement of members
  • recruiting and developing reps
  • utilising and building on effective practice
  • developing local independent sector networks
  • reporting on policy considerations emerging from local activity

Annual independent sector conference

The group also plays an active role in the annual NEU independent sector conference.

National Council independent sector members 2021 – 2023

Brian Metcalf, (Chair)

Shaun Murtagh-Howard , Eastern (Vice Chair)

Dominic Coughlin, Executive

Peter Humphrey, Northwest       

Martyn  Colliver, West Midlands 

Jane Pattenden, West Midlands  

Nazia Perveen, East Midlands     

Mark Thomas, East Midlands      

Margaret, Krysztofiak-Boyle, London      

Rachel Bradley, London 

Nicola Gava, London

Beth Buxton-Collins, Northern   

Phil Rowett, Northern    

Lisa Kearney, Southwest              

Ian Reade, Southwest    

Nicola Bryant, Southwest             

Simon Lemieux, Southeast          

Emma Douglas, Eastern

Alison Cox, Eastern         

Christine Mak, Wales

Getting involved locally in your region and contacting your local region representatives

If you would like to be involved in local activity in the sector, please contact the Regional Secretary and ask to be put in contact with your regional independent sector representatives.

Applying to be on the National Council

Applications were invited from interested members over the summer. Not all places were filled. If you are interested in applying, please contact your Regional Secretary to express your interest.