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NASUWT logo.png
Full name National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers
Founded 1976 (1976) (merger of NAS and UWT)
Members 321,217 (2015)[1]
Affiliation TUC, ICTU, STUC, EI
Key people Chris Keates, General Secretary
Office location Rose Hill, Birmingham
Country United 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. With over 300,000 members it's 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 origins of the NASUWT can be traced back to the formation of the National Association of Men Teachers (NAMT) in 1919. The Association was formed as a group within the National Union of Teachers (NUT) to promote the interests of male teachers. The group existed alongside others within the NUT such as the National Federation of Class Teachers, the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Federation of Women Teachers (later to become the National Union of Women Teachers).[3]

The formation of the NAMT was in response to an NUT referendum the same year, approving the principle of equal pay. This major change in salary policy had been achieved whilst many male teachers were away serving in the army during the First World War.[4]

A subsequent three-year campaign by the NAMT to further the interests of male teachers in the NUT saw its name changed in 1920 to the National Association of Schoolmasters (NAS) and finally resulted in secession of the NAS from the NUT in 1922. The secession came about indirectly following a decision at the NAS Conference that year to prohibit NAS members from continuing to also be members of the NUT after 31 December 1922.[5]

The NAS aimed to recruit every schoolmaster into the NAS, to safeguard and promote the interests of male teachers, to ensure recognition of the social and economic responsibilities of male teachers, and to ensure the representation of schoolmasters on matters concerned with education with both the local education authorities (LEAs) and government. The NAS also maintained that all boys over the age of seven should be taught mainly by men and that schoolmasters should not serve under women heads.[6]

As the secondary education sector expanded, the NAS built its organisation among male secondary teachers, it adopted the methods of collective bargaining and militant industrial action in pursuing a narrow range of pay and conditions issues related to the interests of full-time male 'career teachers'.[7] The union secured a place on the Burnham committee to negotiate teachers' salaries in 1961, following a series of strikes and rallies.[8] In 1976, the NAS merged with the Union of Women Teachers (UWT) largely as 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).[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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[11] (on a 39% turnout)[12] to take strike action, and begin working to the letter of their contracts.[13] The NASUWT set aside historical differences with the National Union of Teachers; a joint declaration in May 2012[14] led to a co-ordinated work-to-rule and strike action in autumn 2013. [15]

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,[16] a campaign recognising the effects of cyberbullying,[17] 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.[18]

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"[19] and subsequently lobbied under the slogan "Reclaim the promise", harking back to the Education Act 1944.[20] NASUWT encouraged its members to join marches sponsored by the TUC,[19] and participated in the Robin Hood tax campaign.[21]


The NASUWT headquarters is at Rednal in Birmingham,[22] 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.[23]

General Secretaries[edit]


1923: A. E. Warren[24]
1941: R. Anderson
1956: Edward Rushworth
1963: Terry Casey


1965: Sally Rogers
1967: Beryl Gandy
1969: Geraldine Jones
1970: Penny Yaffe


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

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. ^ M. Ironside and R. Seifert, Industrial Relations in Schools, (London: Routledge 1995), p.72.
  4. ^ RA Simons, The Schoolmasters: The History of the NAS and of Education in its Time, (London: NASUWT: 1972)
  5. ^ A. Tropp, The School Teachers: the growth of the teaching profession in England and Wales from 1800 to the present day, (London : Heinemann 1957), p. 216
  6. ^ A. Blum (ed.), Teacher Unions and Associations: A Comparative Study, (University of Illinois Press, 1969), p. 54.
  7. ^ a b M. Ironside and R. Seifert, Industrial Relations in Schools, (London: Routledge 1995), p.97
  8. ^ a b Michael Shaw (20 May 2011). "100 years of unions". TES Magazine. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "National Executive Members". NASUWT. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Jonathan Simons. "A Licence to Teach". Policy Exchange. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "National Action Ballot Result". NASUWT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "NASUWT: Largest teachers' union ballot". 4 November 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Teachers in NASUWT vote for strike over pensions". BBC News. 18 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "NASUWT and NUT call upon Michael Gove to urgently address concerns - or face industrial action". 28 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Teachers' strike: Thousands of schools shut in England". BBC News. 17 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "NASUWT - GTC Code of Conduct". NASUWT. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "NASUWT - Stop Cyberbullying". NASUWT. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  18. ^ "NASUWT - Stop the BNP". NASUWT. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  19. ^ a b NASUWT. "National Executive Annual Report 2011" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  20. ^ (1 August 2014). "70th anniversary of 1944 Education Act - time to reclaim the promise". Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  21. ^ NASUWT. "National Executive Annual Report 2013" (PDF). p. 94. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "Contacting NASUWT - National Headquarters". NASUWT. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  23. ^ "Contacting NASUWT - Regional Centres". NASUWT. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  24. ^ Conference Agenda (PDF). Birmingham: NASUWT. 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 

External links[edit]