Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Our movement is at its strongest when our members are empowered to take action in the workplace. Over the past couple of years our local reps have had numerous victories, including protecting pensions at Girls’ Day School Trust schools and pay campaigns in Coventry and East Sussex. Yet there are many more issues to address. 

“As the cost-of-living crisis looms large many teachers and support staff will be facing tough decisions in order to pay their bills. Our members are being pushed to the brink because the government has failed to pay them what they deserve, implementing another real-terms pay cut this year. 

“One in five of our members (22%) plan to leave education within the next two years, and 44% within five years. This is predominantly due to excessive workload (65%), excessive accountability arrangements (35%) and not feeling valued by the government (38%). 

“Conference has voted for this motion because the situation is now untenable. Funding levels are inadequate. Child poverty is increasing. Targets for teacher recruitment are not being met. Yet the government have chosen not to address any of these issues. Their recent education white paper is a missed opportunity.

“It is time that the government valued educators. That means a real terms pay increase this year, an end to unmanageable workloads, abolishing Ofsted and letting teachers have the autonomy to teach in their classrooms.”


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  

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.