NEU is the second largest union for leaders and managers across the entire education sector. School leaders and college managers are vital to the NEU as they are in a strong position to influence and implement policy. The union sees the great value of supporting and helping to develop ethical leaders who lead and shape the future of education.

The NEU understands the complex and professionally demanding work done by school leaders and college managers. We offer advice that will assist leaders in finding their way through these challenges.   We support leaders to stand together with other educational professionals to inform NEU policy that benefits teaching and learning and the education system.

Find out more about issues affecting school leaders and managers:

NEU Leadership offer

As part of the NEU Leadership support and advice package you will have access to:

NEU Leadership Conference for managers and leaders, offering the opportunity to make an input into the development of NEU policy and practice;

LEAD, the magazine for NEU Leadership members focused on your professional interests and needs;

Bespoke CPD support for NEU leaders on issues and training needs which you have identified as important to your professional development;

NEU support and advice to leadership members in key professional issues including continual development of ethical leadership policy, full casework support from NEU Adviceline and support from our experienced staff including a solicitor based in each region and Wales.

NEU Leadership membership includes:
  • Headteacher/principal
  • Deputy headteacher/vice-principal
  • Head of centre/school/college (post-16)
  • Assistant headteacher/assistant principal
  • CEO/executive head/leader of a multi-academy trust
  • Director / assistant director of education
  • Business manager/bursar/FE manager/FE finance manager


NEU SEND Research

Kevin Courtney, NEU Joint General Secretary, was part of a fantastic rally outside the Royal Courts of Justice, where families were challenging the Government on SEND funding. This week the NEU released an analysis of DfE data showing that up to 8,500 young people are ‘awaiting provision’. Read Kevin’s comments on the findings in Education Executive here.

Since 2015, 9 out of 10 local authorities have lost out on vital funding for children who need the most support. We must force the government to bring the #SENDcrisis to an end. Details about how you can become involved in the SEND campaign can be found here.

NEU research has found that 93% of local authorities have lost out on SEND funding since 2015 because of central government’s shortfall in special needs provision. You can find out how your LA is affected here.

Student Strikes on Climate Change – guidance for heads and principals

The movement Youth Strike 4 Climate is planning a number of activities to draw attention to the issue of climate change and to call on governments globally to take action.

Young people are showing their deep concern about the climate crisis and are showing their wish to shape and influence decisions taken now which will impact on their future.  Education has an important role to play in responding to climate change.

This guidance for members who are affected by the action is applicable in England and Wales unless otherwise stated.

School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) Submission 2019

For September 2019, the NEU wants a fully funded pay increase of 5 per cent for all teachers and school leaders. Our STRB submission 2019 and supplementary submission set out our views on the teacher pay issues raised by the Secretary of State’s remit letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) of 21 November 2018.

We want heads to fill in our survey to let us know about the impact this pay award will have on you and your school and help us to continue to campaign for better school funding and better pay for teachers.

It’s vital that we keep up the pressure on Government to fund the 2018 pay rise in full and implement the full increases recommended by the STRB. The NEU 2018 teacher survey report on pay and progression highlighted that:

Teachers in academies and free schools were more likely to say their school has a pay progression policy, but also more likely to believe it is unfair.

Secondary teachers on the leadership range were significantly less likely to progress than those in primary schools.

The full survey report is available here

More on the NEU’s pay campaign can be found here.

Teacher Retention and Workload

Unacceptable workload has an adverse impact on teacher recruitment and retention. The annual Teacher Workforce census conducted by the Department of Education reported a further decline in retention rates. Read Kevin Courtney’s comments in Education Executive.

The Workload Challenge was launched in 2014 by the Government, and even if school leaders fully endorsed and implemented the findings from the reports offering advice on marking policies, planning and teaching resources and data management, they would only be scratching the surface. The aim of the NEU’s workload campaign is to bring about a sustainable reduction in the workload of education workers. School leaders and college managers can take steps to reduce workload so that staff perform their best without being worked into the ground by unrealistic expectations.

Equality Matters

A key priority of the union, to ensure all members have a voice in the union, the classroom and broader society, and do not face barriers to promotion, representation or participation. We believe that all children and young people should have equal access to a good school and an education system which treats staff and those they teach fairly.

A new interactive website has been launched this week to support schools to develop an inclusive relationships and sex education (RSE) and help tackle sexism and sexual harassment. The NEU has supported this resource and been a key partner in developing it. You can access the full resources via the AGENDA website. We would love to hear how you are using it to tackle issues such as sexual harassment. Get in touch by emailing

Protect workers from sexual harassment

The NEU has joined a TUC-led alliance under the banner #ThisIsNotWorking.  An environment where sexual harassment is permitted to continue is harmful to everyone – education professionals, pupils and students alike. We are calling on the Government to introduce a new law to require employers to take all reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation.

Please sign the petition and encourage your staff to do the same. The Government must recognise that sexual harassment is an equality issue and a health and safety issue.

Health and safety advice – stress risk assessment

Doing something about stress in schools may seem daunting to head teachers/principals and other managers. You may not know where to start. The NEU does not seek to blame school leaders for this situation. Stress is undoubtedly more difficult to tackle than, say, a straightforward slip/trip hazard.

The NEU wants to provide assistance to head teachers/principals and others who are responsible for tackling stress in schools and colleges, and who may be daunted by the prospect. We recognise that a collective approach, involving management and trade union representatives, will lead to the best possible outcome.

By following our simple step-by-step guide to undertaking a risk assessment, you will meet your legal obligations without creating a huge bureaucratic burden for yourself. You are likely to wish to adopt a similar approach in respect of support staff.