NUT elects new General Secretary

15 July 2016

Kevin Courtney has been elected as the twelfth General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union in Europe.

Under Union rules, Mr Courtney takes over immediately from Christine Blower, who stood down in May after seven years as General Secretary.

In welcoming his election success, Mr Courtney paid tribute to the other candidate, Ms Beth Davies, for the conduct of the election.

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

“This is an extraordinary honour. General Secretary of the NUT is one of the most important jobs in education and I am proud to be taking on that role. I will work tirelessly to achieve an education system that recognizes all our children’s strengths and respects and recognises the incredible job that teachers do.

“I am fortunate to be inheriting from Christine Blower the leadership of a strong and growing Union. I am in no doubt, however, of the challenges ahead – not least the need to convince the Prime Minister and the new Education Secretary, Justine Greening, of the case both for proper investment in our education service, as opposed to the damaging cuts currently in place, and for urgent reform of the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 testing arrangements.”

Christine Blower, former General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

“I congratulate Kevin on his election and commend the members for electing him. Kevin will be a brilliant General Secretary. He is a great campaigner for the kind of education service NUT members want and deserve. I wish him every success in leading the Union.”


Editor's Note

The results were as follows:

COURTNEY, Kevin 22,290 (69.9%)
DAVIES, Beth 9,612 (30.1%)

Number of eligible voters: 297,938
Total number of votes cast: 31,941
Votes found to be invalid: 39
Votes counted: 31,902
Turnout: 10.7%

The current contributing membership of the NUT is 333,704 (as at 31 December 2015).

Kevin Courtney was elected as Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers on 28 January 2010 and has been the Acting General Secretary since June 2016 following the retirement from the post of General Secretary by Christine Blower. Kevin has been active in the Union since 1983, first as a school rep and then as NUT Secretary for Camden. He was elected onto the National Executive for Inner London in 2006.
Kevin was born and educated in Pontypridd, Wales, where he attended Trefforest Primary and Coedy-Lan Comprehensive. He went on to study physics at Imperial College, London and began his teaching career in the physics department at Camden School for Girls in 1983, where he taught until becoming the NUT branch secretary in 1990. He was elected in 2005 to the executive committee of SERTUC (Southern and Eastern Regional TUC) becoming one of its vice presidents at the same time.
Kevin led significant campaigns as Camden secretary over maternity pay, overseas teachers, recruitment and retention payments, London and Fringe allowances, LGBT history month and anti-racism. While Deputy General Secretary of the NUT Kevin has taken a lead on NUT campaigning issues including academies, EBacc, teacher workload, terms and conditions, school and sixth form funding, recognition for supply teachers and assessment and testing.

He is profiled in today’s Times Education Supplement.
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