Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

"This resolution goes to the heart of the problems of the primary classroom. It is bad enough that government is dictating to schools how they should teach reading and writing. It is even worse that the methods it is imposing on schools are based on dogma, in defiance of recent research. 

“Government policy is not raising but lowering the quality of education. It is threatening to turn classrooms into educational wastelands, where the thrill and enjoyment of learning to read and write are replaced by drills and rote learning. 

“As a result of this resolution, the union will be working practically with other professional organisations to provide resources for a different approach to reading and writing. We will be supporting teachers in developing good practice, based on research and professional knowledge, not national directives.”


Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.