International news

Secretary of State urged to protect people of Afrin
Joint General Secretary of the NEU - NUT Section Kevin Courtney has written to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to urge him to take immediate action for the protection of the people of Afrin. Read the letter here.

International Secretary urges end to crackdown on protests in Iran
International Secretary of the NEU - NUT Section Christine Blower has urged an end to the crackdown on protests in Iran. In a letter to President Rouhani, Blower expressed solidarity with the people of Iran as they express their legitimate concerns about unemployment and pay in the country. Read the letter here and a statement form the NEU - NUT Section here.

National Education Union - NUT Section Delegation to Mexico
A delegation from the National Education Union - NUT Section is currently on a fact-finding mission to Mexico. The group will have discussions with colleagues from a sister trade union, visit schools, and meet with academics, as well as explore the state of human rights in Mexico. Read more about the delegation here.

International Secretary Calls for Release of Iranian Activist
International Secretary Christine Blower has written to the Head of the Judiciary in Iran to call on him to overturn the charges against Iranian Trade Union activist Esmail Abdi. Abdi was wrongfully convicted of national security offences in February 2016 and is currently imprisoned. Read the Secretary's letter here.

Statement of solidarity with the people of Colombia following the murder of activist Viviana Trochez Dague
Earlier this month, 20-year-old Colombian activist Viviana Trochez Dague was murdered, just one day after graduating from university. Christine Blower, International Secretary of the NEU - NUT Section, has written a statement expressing our solidarity with the people of Colombia following this event. Read the statement here.

Joint General Secretary releases statement on Mladic verdict
Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, has released a statement on the verdict in the case of Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic. Mladic was found guilty on 10 of 11 counts in relation to the genocide in Srebrenica and the Bosnian War and now faces life imprisonment. Read the Joint GS's statement here.

International Secretary expresses solidarity with unions after earthquake
The NEU NUT Section International Secretary, Christine Blower, has written to the Iraqi and Kurdistan Teachers Unions to express solidarity after the recent earthquake along the Iran/Iraq border. Read her letter to the Iraqi Teachers Union and the Kurdistan Teachers Union.

Joint General Secretary Welcomes End to Open University Ban on Cuban Students
In July 2017, the Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union Kevin Courtney wrote a letter to the Open University urging them to repeal their ban on Cuban students, among others, related to US sanctions. The OU has just announced a change to this policy and is 'now in a position to resume the supply of educational services into the affected countries. With immediate effect, restrictions on admission of students from these countries are now lifted.' Read the Joint General Secretary's statement welcoming this change here.

Call for Hosts for International Guests at Annual Conference 2018
Every year, a number of international guests are invited to attend Annual Conference. For 2018, the International Department is seeking offers from Associations, Divisions, International Solidarity Officers and/or members to act as hosts for these guests. The role of a host is new and adaptable, but may include: accompanying guests to appropriate fringe events, hosting events, organising meetings, arranging meals, and more. This is an excellent opportunity to make a strong, lasting and fruitful connection with an international colleague. If interested, please complete the application form and return to international@nut.org.uk by Friday, 26 January 2018.

Autumn 2017 edition of 'Global Matters' now available
The latest edition of Global Matters, the first under the National Education Union - NUT Section banner, is now available. The Autumn 2017 edition brings you up-to-date with our international solidarity campaigns and activities, and includes stories about the recent Nicaragua teacher exchange, the 100 million for 100 million and Send My Friend to School campaigns, the Union's new Strategy Snapshot resources, and much more. Download the new Global Matters here.

Learning to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals
In Summer 2017, two NEU-NUT Section members went to Education International's first conference of young teachers on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This event gathered educators from across the globe to discuss how their unions can work to ensure their countries progress towards the 17 UN SDGs. Read the teachers' report here.

New Education International study highlights privatisation of education in Nepal
Education International has today released 'Nepal: Patterns of Privatisation in Education', a study that explores the growth of privatisation of education in Nepal. The report has a special focus on so-called Low-Fee Private Schools and school chains, and shows that for-profit education is taking over in the country due to a chronically underfunded public education system. Read the whole report here.

NEU Releases Statement on International Day of the Girl
Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, have released a statement on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl. In it, they reaffirm the Union's commitment to girls' education globally and challenge members, partners and sister unions to do the same. Read the statement here.

International Secretary expresses solidarity with America’s 'Dreamers' and calls for action
International Secretary Christine Blower has joined colleagues from Education International to urge the American authorities to support action by Congress to protect the ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ (DACA) 'dreamers'. She has written to the US Ambassador to the UK specifically asking him to raise concerns with the American administration about the termination of the DACA Executive Order. Read the letter here.

NEU General Secretaries urge FCO to take action for the Rohingya people
The Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, have written to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, asking him to take urgent action to address the crisis of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Read the letter here.

You can read the response from the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP here.

Solidarity with the people of Cuba after Hurricane Irma
The NEU NUT Section has shared its solidarity with the people of Cuba after the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma. International Secretary Christine Blower has written a letter to the Secretary General of Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, la Ciencia y el Deporte (SNTECD) expressing solidarity with its members. Read the letter here.

International Secretary conveys support for Mexico after earthquake
International Secretary Christine Blower has written to the General Secretary of the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) to express solidarity after the recent earthquake in Mexico. The states of Tabasco, Oaxaca and Chiapas have been particularly affected by this disaster. Read Christine's letter here.

NEU – NUT Section expresses solidarity with the Caribbean Union of Teachers
After the devastation of Hurricane Irma, International Secretary of the NEU – NUT Section Christine Blower has written a letter to the Caribbean Union of Teachers expressing solidarity with its members. Read the letter here.

Urgent action to free Iranian trade unionist Esmail Abdi
Education International, to which the NEU NUT Section is affiliated, has joined with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) to launch an urgent action calling for the immediate and permanent release of Iranian trade unionists Esmail Abdi and Reza Shahabi. The two are reportedly being held in inhumane conditions and campaigners are very worried about their safety. The NUT NEU Section has sent a letter to His Excellency Hamid Baeidinejad, the Iranian Ambassador to the UK, to advocate for Mr Abdi's release. You can find out more on EI and ITF’s LabourStart campaign page, where you can also take action to demand the unionists’ release.

Solidarity after the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils
National Union of Teachers' International Secretary Christine Blower has written a letter of solidarity to colleagues in Spanish teachers' unions in the wake of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain. Read the letter here.

NUT Welcomes Cuban Teachers
The NUT was delighted to welcome two teachers from Cuba, attending a summer course in Edinburgh on teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP), who visited NUT headquarters today. They teach English for medical purposes in Havana and are part of the Cuban Association of Pedagogues (APC-ELI). The NUT has a proud history of supporting two students from the APC-ELI to attend this course every year.

Condolences expressed after devastating mudslide in Sierra Leone
A mudslide and flooding in Sierra Leone has devastated parts of the country's capital. Nearly 400 people are confirmed dead and hundreds are still missing. The National Union of Teachers expresses deep sympathies and condolences for the members, staff and communities of the Sierra Leone Teachers' Union (SLTU) affected by this devastating event. Read the union's letter to the SLTU here.

NUT expresses solidarity with the AFT after events in Charlottesville
International Secretary Christine Blower has written a letter of solidarity to the AFT in relation to their work in the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Read the letter here.

Statement of solidarity on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney has released a statement of solidarity to mark International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. In the letter, the General Secretary notes the importance of uniting for human rights and offers support to any educational colleagues working to secure equal opportunities for their communities. Read the letter here.

Nicaraguan and British teachers discuss techniques and strategies for language teaching
On Sunday, the delegation from the NUT taking part in the teacher exchange with Nicaragua split into groups in order to work with teachers in local schools in Managua, Esteli, Granada, Carazo and Chinandega. Before setting off, the teachers took part in workshops with a group of 60 Nicaraguan teachers of English as a second language in Managua. Julio Cesar Canelo, Director of Secondary and Distance Education, explained that the initiative – supported by the Nicaraguan government via the Ministry of Education and by Nicaraguan teachers' union ANDEN – was the first of its kind and will allow Nicaraguan teachers to learn about strategies and techniques for improving the teaching of English as a second language at all levels. The focus during the workshops was on reading, listening, speaking and grammar, along with the use of technology as an important element of learning. The delegation has received excellent publicity in Nicaragua, including articles on Voz del Sandinismo, El 19 Digital and a TV report on Channel 13, and is proving to be a huge success.

General Secretary calls for end to attacks on schools in Mindanao
The General Secretary has written a letter to President Duterte of the Philippines, expressing deep concerns over the attacks on the Lumad indigenous communities in Mindanao. He has urged the President to end the attacks and respect and protect Lumad community schools. Read the letter here.

Partnership Schools for Liberia: A Critical Review' Report Launched
In 2016, the Liberian Government launched the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) pilot. This saw 94 schools handed over to eight private service providers, covering approximately 27,000 students. A new report from Education International and ActionAid looks at the accountability and transparency, impact on students and teachers, and scalability and sustainability of the pilot. The report presents questions that should be addressed before PSL is scaled up, something the Liberian Government has already committed to doing in 2017. Read the report here.

NUT delegation arrives in Nicaragua for exchange visit
NicaraguaA group of NUT members have arrived in Nicaragua for a three week exchange visit. The visit will focus on discussions and methodology around the teaching of a second language. The NUT members, all of whom are experienced teachers of Spanish as a second language, will take part in workshops and practical sessions with Nicaraguan teachers of English as a second language. They will stay in the homes of members of the Nicaraguan teachers' union ANDEN and therefore also learn something about Nicaraguan culture and their way of life. During the first week of their stay, the group will be in Nicaragua's capital Managua. After that, some of the group will remain in Managua, while others will travel to Esteli, Chinandega, Carazo and Granada to work with teachers in local schools. The programme has been organised by ANDEN and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education MINED..

Call to end Open University's discrimination against Cuban students
Earlier this year, a student applied to study at the Open University, only to be told that this would not be possible because of their Cuban nationality. General Secretary Kevin Courtney has written a letter to Keith Zimmerman of the University urging him to change the institution's policy on Cuba. Read the letter here.

Letter to the Mexican Embassy
The General Secretary, Kevin Courtney, has written to the new Ambassador of the Embassy of Mexico in the UK to welcome him to his new post and to ask for clarification on the situation in México regarding the killing of three trainee teachers and the disappearance of 43 from the rural school in Guerrero. Read the letter here. Read the response from the Embassy of Mexico here.

Urgent action to stop the execution of Saudi Arabian pro-democracy activists
The NUT, along with Education International, UNISON and the University and College Union, are calling for immediate action to protect 14 pro-democracy advocates from execution in Saudi Arabia. The urgency of this action is paramount, as the activists have recently been moved to the capital Riyadh, where executions take place. This suggests action to carry out the death penalty sentences they received in 2016 is imminent.

General Secretary Kevin Courtney has already signed a letter to Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson asking him to contact the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to prevent the execution of these activists. Read the response from Alistair Burt here. Please consider taking action on this important and urgent issue by contacting the Saudi Arabian authorities to demand the release of these advocates. Click here to send a message to the authorities, and for more information visit the Education International website.

Statement on Srebrenica Memorial Day 2017
This year is the 22nd anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, during which thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered, simply because they were Muslim. Remembering Srebrenica’s theme this year is Breaking the Silence: Gender and Genocide. Read the statement here.

Srebrenica Commemoration Activities
In the week commencing 10 July 2017, the NUT and the charity Remembering Srebrenica organised three events to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica.

Photography Exhibition
During the week, a photography exhibition was housed in the headquarters of the National Union of Teachers, Hamilton House. This exhibit, entitled Silenced Voices: Stories from Srebrenica and Sarajevo and curated by Tayyabah Ahmed and Akbar Khan, featured striking images and materials from the aftermath of the genocide. The exhibition was described by one visitor as ‘fantastic…chilling and thought-provoking’.  Read more about the exhibit in the explanatory note, and if you would like to show the exhibition at your school please contact the International team.

Film Screening
On Tuesday, 11 July, Fog of Srebrenica was screened to a room of teachers, colleagues, and NUT friends. In the film, director Samir Mehanovic meets survivors and learns of their experiences before, during and after the genocide. A trailer of the film is available on the Fog of Srebrenica website.

Struggling in the Shadows Conference
On Saturday, 15 July 2017, the NUT and Remembering Srebrenica held a conference entitled Struggling in the Shadows: A Conference to Commemorate and Educate about Genocide. Speakers at the event included Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT; Dr Waqar Azmi, Chairperson of Remembering Srebrenica; and Murica Subasic, President of Mothers of Srebrenica. Dr Azmi excellently captured the spirit of the event as he remarked “We remember, but we also educate.” The conference successfully raised awareness of delegates about the genocide, whilst encouraging action through education to prevent its repetition.

Letter of solidarity FECODE Columbia
The General Secretary has written a letter of solidarity to the President of Colombian union FECODE. Read the letter here.

Freedom for Iranian teacher union leader Esmail Abdi
General Secretary, Kevin Courtney, has written to the Supreme Leader and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemning the six-year jail sentence and the harsh detention conditions imposed on Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Tehran Teacher Trade Association who has been on hunger strike since 30 April. Read the letter here.

Bridge International Academies adds intimidation to its business plans
The General Secretary, Kevin Courtney, has written to DfID, the World Bank and Pearson regarding the NUT’s deep concern that Bridge International Academies has commenced legal proceedings against the Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and its General Secretary, Wilson Sossion, for exposing its business plan which undermines the attainment of inclusive and equitable quality education for all consistent with SDG4.

Joint Union letter to Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank
Bridge International Academies are a high-tech scam. A child needs more than a tablet. Now African governments are closing Bridge schools for their abject failure to meet basic educational standards, and for putting “the life and safety of students in danger.” Yet instead of supporting democracy through free public education, the World Bank and its venture capitalist partners continue to impose this costly for-profit, robot-based education model on school children and families. See letter to Jim Yong Kim.

Investing in the crisis: Private participation in the education of Syrian refugees
Click here to read ‘Investing in the crisis: Private participation in the education of Syrian refugees’, Education International's latest report produced as part of the Global Response to the growing commercialisation and privatisation in and of education.

The journey of Sakine Yıllmaz
Click here to watch a new documentary film about the fate of Sakine Yillmaz, former General Secretary of Egitim Sen, and her life as a refugee in Germany. It sheds light on the oppression and persecution of tens of thousands of teachers in Turkey.

Deportation of Palestinian Solidarity Campaign Chairperson from Israel
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary has made a statement regarding the deportation of Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, on Sunday night by the Israeli authorities. Click here to read the statement.

The International Development committee inquiry into 'Difd's Work on Education: Leaving no one behind?'
The NUT's submission focuses principally on three issues - funding for global education, low-fee private schools and the teacher gap to meet the global education targets. Read our submission here.

Schooling the Poor Profitably
The education provided by Bridge International Academies (BIA) in Uganda disregards legal and educational standards established by the Government, according to a new study by Education International (EI)

This report on Uganda shows that Bridge International Academies continues to undermine the provision of education as a human right and a public good in the Global South. BIA is supported by UK DfiD and both are complicit in compromising the rights of poor children who cannot afford to go to these so called low cost schools by damaging the provision of state education. The NUT notes that the Government says it's opposed to profitmaking from state schools in the UK and we reiterate our call to DfiD to immediately cease the use of UK taxpayers’ money to promote the privatisation of education in countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and India.

Read the full report here.

NUT stands in solidarity with Turkey
Christine Blower has written a message of solidarity to our colleagues at Eğitim Sen and expressed concerns regarding the ongoing targeting of education employees in Turkey. Read the letter here.

The NUT stands in solidarity with Mexico
Christine Blower has written to our colleagues at the CNTE in Mexico expressing solidarity with the struggle for democratic and public education in Mexico. Read the letter here.

Silencing and punishment of educators in Turkey
General Secretary, Kevin Courtney, has written to Ambassador Abdurrahman Bilgiç at the Turkish Embassy in London regarding the silencing and punishment of educators in Turkey. Read the letter here.

Commonwealth Teachers’ Group

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent states consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding.

The NUT is a founding member of the Commonwealth Teachers’ Group which operates under the auspices of Education International.

In this section you will find information about our work in the Commonwealth.