We are the union for your whole career, whether you’re a trainee or newly qualified teacher, member of support staff, classroom teacher, lecturer or leader.

In the independent sector, the National Education Union is the leading education union in terms of both membership and negotiating rights, including those of support staff. In maintained schools, the local government unions are recognised to collectively bargain on behalf of support staff. We also have a growing number of support staff members in sixth form, FE and HE colleges.

Teachers in maintained schools

The National Education Union represents the majority of teachers in maintained schools. With more members in more workplaces than any other union in the education sector, the National Education Union uses your experiences to influence government and employers on the issues that you tell us matter most. We will maintain pressure on government to reduce your workload and share best practice and continue to lobby against funding cuts.

When it comes to your pay, conditions and pensions, we continue to oppose pay related to pupil performance, and we are campaigning for an end to the public sector pay cap. We will ensure you are treated fairly in appraisal and capability sessions. 

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.

Unparalleled experience of dealing with similar issues in the independent sector lies in our heritage, putting us in the perfect position to provide the specialist back-up you need, including if you are working in a free school.

If your school is part of a multiacademy trust (MAT), our negotiators will represent your interests. If you work for a stand-alone academy, support is available through your workplace reps and union staff.

Independent schools

As the largest union in the independent sector, the National Education Union is focused on achieving better working conditions for you as well as supporting your career development. We have strong independent sector expertise and, with the collective strength of ATL and the NUT in the National Education Union, we are well equipped to manage the unique challenges you face.

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

The National Education Union will be 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.

We negotiate pay and conditions for members as a union nationally recognised on the National Joint Forum for FE and the National Joint Council for Sixth Forms, and are uniquely placed in the sector as the only union nationally recognised by both the Association of Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges’ Association.

If you are a professional in a work-based learning environment or training provider, we provide exclusive advice through our Unionlearn project work alongside the Education and Training Foundation and Association of Employment and Learning Providers. 

We look to our members in post-16 to steer our policy and campaigns in this sector, as well as providing an elected member advisory group, on which we reserve a place specifically for members working in universities.

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. This is why we will work tirelessly for our support staff members in every workplace. When working with the government and employers we will influence education policies that directly affect our support staff members. Using your voice, experiences and expertise, we will continue to make a positive impact to your pay, conditions, working hours and career development.

In the independent sector, the National Education Union is the leading education union in terms of both membership and negotiating rights, including those of support staff. In maintained schools, only the local government unions (GMB, Unison and Unite) are recognised to collectively bargain on behalf of support staff.