Mary Bousted

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Bousted at a Policy Exchange event in 2013

Mary Winefride Bousted (née Bleasdale; born 15 September 1959, Bolton, Lancashire, England) is Joint General-Secretary of The National Education Union (NEU). Bousted was formerly General Secretary of the teachers' union, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) prior to its amalgamation with the National Union of Teachers, forming the NEU.

Early life[edit]

She is the daughter of Edward and Winefride Bleasdale. She attended St Osmund's RC Primary School in a deprived area of Bolton, Breightmet, where her dad was the headmaster. She went to a Catholic girls' direct grant grammar school, the Mount St Joseph School. She was the second-youngest of eight children. Her mother was also a teacher, and supported the Labour Party. Her father supported the Liberals, and was determined for those at the primary school to pass the 11-plus. The singer Badly Drawn Boy is also from this part of Bolton.

She attended the University of Hull, gaining a BA in English. From the University of Durham, she gained a PGCE.[1] She describes Durham and Hull as monocultural higher education institutions. From the Institute of Education she gained an MA. Later from the University of York she gained a PhD.


She taught English from 1982-87 at Bentley Wood High School in Harrow. From 1988-91 she was Head of English at Whitmore High School in Harrow.

From 1991-95 she was a lecturer at the University of York, becoming Director of Initial Teacher Training from 1995-97.

From 1997-99 she was Head of Secondary Education at Edge Hill College (became Edge Hill University in 2006), then at the School of Education at Kingston University from 1999-2003.[2]

In July 2010, Bousted was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University.[3]

In September 2016 she was elected as President of the Trades Union Congress for 2016/17. [4]


She became General Secretary of the ATL in 2003.

Personal life[edit]

She married Donald Bousted in 1983. She and her husband are now separated. They have one daughter. She has lived for many years in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.


External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Peter Smith
General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers
Succeeded by
Union merged with the NUT
Preceded by
New position
General Secretary of the National Education Union
With: Kevin Courtney
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Liz Snape
President of the Trades Union Congress
2016 – 2017
Succeeded by
Sally Hunt