The NEU is a union for all education professionals. We represent members in maintained schools, academies and free schools, independent schools, sixth form and further education colleges, education support services, alternative education provision settings, and early years settings.

Whatever your role, whether you’re a teacher, a lecturer, a middle leader, a head teacher, a teaching assistant or a school librarian*, NEU membership is open to you. Supply and agency teachers can also benefit from NEU membership.

If you’re a student or trainee teacher, you can join for free. Early career teachers (England) and NQTs (Wales) pay just £1 for membership for the first year after qualifying. 

Who can join the NEU?
Membership frequently asked questions

Who can join the NEU?

  • Teachers in maintained schools

The National Education Union represents the majority of teachers in maintained schools.

The National Education Union also represents supply teachers employed by schools, local authorities and agencies. We campaign to ensure agency supply teachers receive a fair wage and access to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

  • Academies and free schools

Many members now work in academies and, with the number of academies and free schools continuing to grow, it is vital that you are a part of the National Education Union: together we can help protect your pay and conditions.

  • Independent schools

We represent more teachers and support staff working in independent schools than any other union. We have approximately 30,000 members in the sector across the UK – from teachers to technicians, headteachers to teaching assistants, librarians to ancillary staff. We are also recognised by more independent sector employers than any other union, with nearly half of the agreements covering support staff.

We work well with the independent sector employer associations, such as the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association and the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools

  • Lecturers, sixth form teachers and vocational educators

We welcome and represent lecturers sixth form teachers and vocational educators.  The National Education Union is the professional and persuasive voice for post-16 education. We have a history of pressing for recognition of the professional identity and practice of members, as well as protecting their employment rights; and as the National Education Union, we will continue our collaborative way of working and seek to further our aim of enhancing FE practitioner status.

      • Support staff

      Support staff are a vital part of the education team, and the National Education Union promotes an ethos of the whole-school community. We recognise the exceptional contribution made by support staff, from teaching assistants to technicians, administrators to librarians, examination officers and ancillary staff, and believe there should be a national pay scale and terms and conditions for you.
       

      • Habilitation VI (UK)

      NEU membership is also open to members of Habilitation VI (UK). We work closely with Habilitation VI (UK), thus ensuring that the benefits of your Habilitation VI (UK) membership can complement the protection provided by a first-class trade union.

      • Support staff apprentices

      There are a growing number of support staff apprentices in the education sector.

      The NEU offers free membership to support staff apprentices working in a school or college on a one year placement.

      This means that should you have any problems at work during your time as an apprentice, the Union will represent your interests, by giving you access to our network of Reps, Branches and paid officials. Then at the end of the apprenticeship, if you secure a permanent or temporary job in education, you will be able to become a full member of the NEU.

      If you are an apprentice working in education, you can take advantage of our offer of FREE membership for the period of your placement, please click here.

        • NEU membership FAQs

          Am I eligible to join?

          The NEU is a union for all education professionals. We represent members in maintained schools, academies and free schools, independent schools, sixth form and further education colleges, education support services, alternative education provision settings, and early years settings.

          Whatever your role, whether you’re a teacher, a lecturer, a middle leader, a head teacher, a trainee, a teaching assistant or a school librarian, NEU membership is open to you. Supply and agency teachers can also benefit from NEU membership.

          If you are support staff, you are eligible to join the NEU but you should be aware that in maintained schools, only the local government unions (GMB, Unite and Unison) are recognised to collectively bargain on behalf of support staff.

          How much does it cost for students and ECTs to join the NEU?

          It’s completely free for students and trainees to join the NEU, whether you’re at university or doing a school-based course such as School Direct or Teach First. Simply complete the short online join form to become a member today.

          Once you complete your course and become an ECT (NQT in Wales), it will cost you only £1 to upgrade to full NEU membership. Whether you’re an existing student member or you’re new to the union, you’ll need to complete the same form in order to access the £1 offer.

          I’m a supply teacher/agency worker, can I join the NEU?

          Yes. The NEU is committed to supporting members on supply and agency contracts. Find out more about the NEU’s charter for supply teachers here.

          When you join, we will ask you how many hours you work or anticipate working to identify the correct subscription rate for you.  You can see the NEU full time and part time definitions here.

          Please contact the membership team at membership@neu.org.uk or 0345 811 8111, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, if your working hours change or if you stop working.

          I’m moving into a Leadership role. Can I stay with the NEU?

          Yes. The NEU is the union for all education professionals, including leaders and middle leaders. As a leadership member, as well as all the usual benefits of NEU membership, you will also receive Lead magazine, specialist CPD, and access to our online community for leaders to share ideas, support each other, and to network. Find out more about what the NEU has to offer Leadership members here.

          I work in Scotland, can I join the NEU?

          The NEU works in partnership with our sister union, the EIS, in Scotland and there are no NEU representatives in Scotland.  This means if you join the NEU and your workplace is in Scotland, all support and benefits will be provided by EIS.  We will share the data you enter when joining NEU with EIS to enable them to provide these services.  You may wish to join EIS directly instead of the NEU.

          How do I update my details?

          It’s important that you keep your details up to date. Please inform the union if your hours have changed, or if you’ve moved house or workplace. myNEU is the quickest and simplest way to let us know about changes to your personal or workplace details. You can also use myNEU to update your equality monitoring information.

          Alternatively call the membership team on membership@neu.org.uk or 0345 811 8111, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.