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NASUWT logo.png
Full nameNational Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers
Founded1976 (1976) (merger of NAS and UWT)
MembersDecrease 286,541 (2016)[1]
AffiliationTUC, ICTU, STUC, EI
Key peopleChris Keates, General Secretary
Office locationRose Hill, Birmingham
CountryUnited Kingdom

The National Association of Schoolmasters / Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) is a TUC-affiliated trade union representing teachers, including headteachers, throughout the United Kingdom.

The union organises in all sectors from early years to further education and represents teachers in all roles including heads and deputies. It is the second largest teachers' union in United Kingdom. The NASUWT claims to be independent of any political party,[2] and seeks to influence educational policy on behalf of its members with national government and the devolved assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The NASUWT made an appearance in the Birmingham Pride parade in 2011

The NASUWT resulted from the 1976 merger of the National Association of Schoolmasters (NAS) with the Union of Women Teachers (UWT) and the Scottish Schoolmasters' Association.[3] This was largely a consequence of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, which made it unlawful to exclude from membership on grounds of gender, and became the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NAS/UWT).[4] In recent years, the slash has been dropped from the name.

The NAS/UWT took part in long-running industrial action between 1984 and 1986, in support of a pay claim and the retention of the Burnham committee. Both the NAS/UWT and NUT lost members to the less militant Professional Association of Teachers and Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association.[5]

Modern structure[edit]

NASUWT policy is determined by its annual conference, to which delegates are elected from over 300 local associations. Members also elect the National Executive Committee of 44 members.[6] This committee, together with the General Secretary and other elected officials, determine the day-to-day business of the union.

Relations with government[edit]

From 2003 to 2010 the NASUWT was involved in "social partnership" – a programme of meetings between union leaders, the Labour government and employers' organisations. The meetings were initially to discuss pay and workforce issues but developed into a forum for broader discussion on policy proposals.[7] The National Union of Teachers chose not to participate in social partnership. The NASUWT argues[citation needed] that social partnership brought about benefits to teachers' terms and conditions through the "National Agreement – Raising Standards, Tackling Workload", especially the introduction of defined planning and assessment time for all teachers.

Social partnership was confined to the Labour government, and did not continue after the establishment of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010. Instead, the union lodged a formal trade dispute with the government over workload, conditions of service, pensions, and jobs. In November 2011, members of the NASUWT voted by a 4-to-1 margin[8] (on a 39% turnout)[9] to take strike action, and begin working to the letter of their contracts.[10] The NASUWT set aside historical differences with the National Union of Teachers; a joint declaration in May 2012[11] led to a co-ordinated work-to-rule and strike action in autumn 2013. [12]

NASUWT campaigns[edit]

The NASUWT has initiated a number of influential campaigns in recent years, including a campaign leading to the abolition of a code of conduct proposed by the General Teaching Council,[13] a campaign recognising the effects of cyberbullying,[14] a campaign to preserve the anonymity of teachers from malicious or false allegations,[citation needed] and a campaign to bar members of the British National Party from the teaching profession.[15]

After 2010, the union joined campaigns against the coalition government. It asserted that "the Education Act 2011 heralded the break-up of the entire state education service"[16] and subsequently lobbied under the slogan "Reclaim the promise", harking back to the Education Act 1944.[17] NASUWT encouraged its members to join marches sponsored by the TUC,[16] and participated in the Robin Hood tax campaign.[18]


The NASUWT headquarters is at Rednal in Birmingham,[19] with the General Secretary's office in Covent Garden, London.[citation needed] The union has nine other offices in England, and a single office in each of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.[20]

General Secretaries[edit]

1975: Terry Casey[21]
1983: Fred Smithies[21]
1990: Nigel de Gruchy[21]
2002: Eamonn O'Kane[21]
2004: Chris Keates[21]

Deputy General Secretaries[edit]

1981: Fred Smithies
1983: Nigel de Gruchy
1990: Eamonn O'Kane
2002: Chris Keates
2004: Jerry Bartlett
2010: Patrick Roach

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "NASUWT – Championing Education". NASUWT. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  3. ^ Marsh, Arthur; Ryan, Victoria (1980). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. 1. Farnborough: Gower. pp. 139–140. ISBN 0566021609.
  4. ^ M. Ironside and R. Seifert, Industrial Relations in Schools, (London: Routledge 1995), p.97
  5. ^ Michael Shaw (20 May 2011). "100 years of unions". TES Magazine. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  6. ^ "National Executive Members". NASUWT. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  7. ^ Jonathan Simons. "A Licence to Teach". Policy Exchange. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  8. ^ "National Action Ballot Result" (PDF). NASUWT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  9. ^ "NASUWT: Largest teachers' union ballot". 4 November 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Teachers in NASUWT vote for strike over pensions". BBC News. 18 November 2011.
  11. ^ "NASUWT and NUT call upon Michael Gove to urgently address concerns – or face industrial action". 28 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Teachers' strike: Thousands of schools shut in England". BBC News. 17 October 2013.
  13. ^ "NASUWT – GTC Code of Conduct". NASUWT. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  14. ^ "NASUWT – Stop Cyberbullying". NASUWT. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  15. ^ "NASUWT – Stop the BNP". NASUWT. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  16. ^ a b NASUWT. "National Executive Annual Report 2011" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  17. ^ (1 August 2014). "70th anniversary of 1944 Education Act – time to reclaim the promise". Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  18. ^ NASUWT. "National Executive Annual Report 2013" (PDF). p. 94. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Contacting NASUWT – National Headquarters". NASUWT. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  20. ^ "Contacting NASUWT – Regional Centres". NASUWT. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  21. ^ a b c d e Conference Agenda. Birmingham: NASUWT. 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 13 April 2011.

External links[edit]