You are the NEU

NEU reps and officers describe how and why they became more active in the union.

Rep and Officer Award

The NEU Representative and Officer of the Year awards are designed to recognise the contribution made by NEU representatives and officers at a local level. The awards celebrate their hard work and commitment. NEU members are invited to nominate an NEU representative/officer who has made a difference in their work place or local area. There are 11 NEU Representative of the Year awards and 11 Officer of the year award, these are made up of one for each region in England, one for Wales and one for Northern Ireland.The regional/Wales/NI awards are  presented at a regional events.

The regional/Wales/NI winners are then considered for the National Representative and Officer of the Year awards. The national awards are presented at the NEU Annual Conference.

Katherine Noonan: Representative of the Year

Katherine Noonan: Representative of the Year 2019

Kat was awarded the Representative of the Year  for her dedicated work in challenging the academisation of her school. Her imaginative campaign, included ballots and strong engagement with members and parents. This action brought the school plans for academisation to a successful end.   

Nicholas Jones: Officer of the Year

Nicholas Jones: Officer of the Year 2019

Nik Jones was awarded  Officer of the Year for developing and implementing a regional campaign called NEU Ideas. This highly effective campaign introduced trade unionism to new teachers. He was also played an important role in Durham NEU’s wider work.

Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award

Branches and districts are invited to submit nominations for the Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award which gives recognition to members who have made exemplary contributions to their branch/district/school work on international solidarity. The Award seeks to foster and celebrate significant and exemplary contributions to international solidarity at branch/district/school level in England and Wales. The Award aims to:

  • develop effective Union/school leadership and a whole branch/district/school approach to international solidarity;
  • recognise the international solidarity work of lay members/teachers on an ongoing basis;
  • acknowledge and celebrate existing good practice in international solidarity work at branch/district/school level;
  • build on existing international solidarity work in branches, districts and schools;
  • support and share international solidarity work in the regions and Wales;
  • encourage innovation and new developments in international solidarity work in schools and in Union activity;
  • provide a mechanism for celebrating the work of the Union’s International Solidarity Officers; and
  • showcase ways in which teachers use the curriculum to promote and encourage pupils to be involved in international solidarity.
  • The Award will be granted to an individual member or groups of members who have made significant and exemplary contributions to international solidarity in their school or division.

All lay members are eligible for the award with the exception of paid officials or staff of the Union and Executive members.
The activities for which the member has been nominated should have occurred in the calendar year preceding the year of the Annual Conference (e.g. January 1 to December 31 2018 for Annual Conference 2019).

Exemplary contributions to a division or association could include increasing participation and involvement of members, for example through activities related to international solidarity and new branch/district/school events such as World Teachers’ Day or International Day for Disabled Persons.
Exemplary contributions to a school could be evaluated on the basis of the impact on pupils, teachers, and other members of the school community. These may have occurred in conjunction with pre-existing initiatives such as, for example, International Women’s Day or Holocaust Memorial Day or the development of school international solidarity strategies or projects. The contribution should have made a significant impact in reshaping or adding new elements to pre-existing initiatives in order to be considered for the award.

Fred and Anne Jarvis Award

The Fred and Anne Jarvis award pays tribute to the example and commitment to education shown by previous General Secretary, Fred Jarvis, and his wife, Anne Jarvis, a lifelong NEU member and former chair of the Education Committee for Barnet Council, who died in 2007. Each year since 2008 an annual award has been made to recognise the contribution of an individual, who is external to the Union, who has been involved in campaigning on a national or local educational issue.

The 2018 award was presented to the journalist Warwick Mansell for his invaluable contribution to the education debate. Warwick has written extensively on the academies and free school programme; the National Curriculum; assessment; and school, accountability systems for publications including the Guardian, the Observer and the Times Educational Supplement. More recently he has launched the website Education Uncovered, continuing his commitment to in-depth reporting about the changing educational landscape.

Previous award winners include education campaigner Jonny Crawshaw for his tireless campaigning for the rights of children to a decent education in York; children’s author Alan Gibbons, for speaking up for teachers, children and education; Ged Grebby, founder of Show Racism the Red Card; Michael Lees OBE for his work campaigning to remove asbestos from schools; Malala Yousafzai in recognition of her continuing campaign for all girls to have the right to an education; Margaret Tulloch for supporting comprehensive education; Fiona Millar, journalist and education campaigner; the former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen who has campaigned against SATs; Professor Robin Alexander, for his work on the Cambridge Review of the Primary Curriculum; and Melissa Benn, state comprehensive education campaigner.

Blair Peach Award

The Blair Peach Award (BPA) was established in March 2010.  The award is named after the past president of the then National Union of Teachers (NUT), East London, who was murdered during an anti-racist demonstration in Southall, London on 23 April 1979.

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.  It is vital to the NEU that they do not gain a foothold in British politics.  That is why we use our political fund to campaign vigorously against racist and fascist parties and support the work of organisations such as HOPE not hateUnite Against FascismShow Racism the Red Card and Kick it Out.

The Blair Peach Award is awarded at Annual Conference to give recognition to members who have made exemplary contributions to their school or branch or district's work on equality and diversity. 

Nikki Simpson Award for Learning 2019 

The award will be presented to the NEU union learning rep (ULR) for making a difference and changing people's lives through union learning. The award-winning ULR or team of members will have demonstrated one or more of the following: 

  • Used learning as an organising tool to recruit more members and engaged members in the work of the union  
  • Supported members and helped them to overcome barriers to learning 
  • Negotiated with employers to increase learning opportunities for all education staff 

Why is it called the Nikki Simpson Award? 

The Nikki Simpson Award commemorates the passion for union learning embodied by a late colleague who passed away whilst working as Learning and Development Organiser for the then Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in 2017. Nikki worked tirelessly alongside local officers brokering learning opportunities for hundreds of members and developing a network of union learning reps. This award commemorates the transformational impact of union learning both on members and union organisation. 

How do I nominate someone? 

Let your branch or district officer know about the work the union learning rep or team of members is doing. Branch and district officers can then choose to nominate by completing the nomination form and emailing it learning@neu.org.uk . Nominations for the 2019 Nikki Simpson Award closed on 18 December 2018.