Association of Teachers and Lecturers

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Association of Teachers and Lecturers
ATL union logo.png
Full name Association of Teachers and Lecturers
Founded 1978 (1978) (merger of AAM and AMA)
Members 200,631 (2015)[1]
Affiliation EI, TUC, Unions 21[2]
Key people
Office location 7 Northumberland Street, London
Country United Kingdom

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is a trade union, teachers' union and professional association, affiliated to the Trades Union Congress, in the United Kingdom representing educators from nursery and primary education to further education. Approximately 120,000 individuals belong to the union (apart from those professions included in the name, education support staff and teaching assistants are also members), making it the third largest teaching and education union in the UK. ATL has members throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and British Service schools overseas. In March 2017, ATL members endorsed a proposed merger with the National Union of Teachers to form a new union to be known as the National Education Union, which will come into existence on 1 September 2017. [3]

Governance and administration[edit]

ATL is led by its Executive Committee who are assisted by a General Secretary. All senior officers and officials are elected by an Association wide ballot and the overall direction is determined by the Annual Conference which has delegates from each branch.

The ATL President serves a one-year term. From September 2009, Lesley Ward. From September 2010, Andy Brown. From September 2011, Alison Robinson. From September 2012, Hank Roberts. From September 2013, Alison Sherratt. From September 2014, Mark Baker. From September 2015, Kim Knappett. From September 2016, Shelagh Hirst is the President of ATL. The current ATL General Secretary is Dr Mary Bousted.


Striking teachers and public sector workers march down the Kingsway, London, flanked by police on June 17, as part of the 2011 United Kingdom anti-austerity protests.

The origins of ATL go back to 1884 when 180 women met to create the Association of Assistant Mistresses (AAM). These women worked in schools founded for higher education of girls. Their concern was primarily for the pupils. However, in 1921, the AAM appointed representatives to the newly formed Burnham Committee on Salaries in Secondary Schools.

1891 saw the formation of the Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools (AMA). Its purpose was to protect and improve the conditions of service of secondary teachers. Between 1899 and 1908 it played an influential part in obtaining security of tenure for assistant teachers through the Endowed Schools Act.

Then in 1978 AAM and AMA merged to form the Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association (AMMA) with a membership of approximately 75,000. The name was changed in 1993 to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

ATL affiliated to the TUC in 1999.

ATL resigned from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in 2015 despite still being listed as a member on their website.[4]

In January 2011, the Association for College Management merged into ATL.[5]

Annual Conferences from 2009[edit]

  • 2009 Liverpool
  • 2010 Manchester
  • 2011 Liverpool
  • 2012 Manchester
  • 2013 Liverpool
  • 2014 Manchester
  • 2015 Liverpool
  • 2016 Liverpool

General Secretaries from 1978[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]