Doug joined the National Executive of the NUT in 1970 and became Deputy General Secretary under Fred Jarvis in 1974. He continued in that position until his election as the ninth (and the first elected) General Secretary 15 years later.

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, an amalgamation of the NUT and ATL unions, said:

“Doug McAvoy’s contribution to education and the working lives of teachers was immense. He led the National Union of Teachers for 15 years and increased both the influence and the membership of the union.

“Doug was the NUT’s first elected General Secretary and led the union through turbulent times. He had a reputation as a fierce and canny negotiator. He supported the campaign against school cuts in the last years of the Tory Government in the late 1990s, leading to the ‘education, education, education’ election of 1997, and also led the first boycott of SATs in 1993.

“He will be remembered by many for the tireless work he did for the NUT, its members and the profession as a whole. Our thoughts go to his family, friends and the many colleagues who worked with him.”