Press releases - England

This is an archive of NUT press releases. NEU press releases are here.

For current media and press enquiries, please contact the National Education Union press office.

Direct Line: 0207 380 4706

Out of hours: 07879 480 061

Email: press@neu.org.uk

If you have media enquiries that are specific to Northern Ireland or Wales, please use the following phone numbers:

Wales: 02920 491 818

Northern Ireland: 02890 782 020

England

Free Schools

2 September 2015

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s commitment to open 500 new free schools over the next five years, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government seems determined to start the new school term in the manner in which it concluded the last – peddling a series of untruths and misrepresentations about the ideological academy and free school programme.

Free School Delays

28 August 2015

Commenting on the Local Government Association’s (LGA’s) call for decisions to postpone the opening of a new free school to be made before National Offer Day, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT welcomes and endorses the call by the LGA for parents to be informed ahead of National Offer Day whether the free school which has offered a place to their child will in fact open on time.

Key Stage 2 Assessment Results

27 August 2015

Commenting on the latest Key Stage 2 assessment results, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Teachers’ Pay

26 August 2015

Commenting on the Treasury Chief Secretary’s letter today to the pay review bodies suggesting that not all public sector workers need to receive the 1% pay increase, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The idea that many teachers will not get a 1% pay rise next year, coupled with the fact that performance related pay in schools has meant that many teachers are now being denied progression up the pay scales, will be a disaster for teacher recruitment and retention.

Policy Exchange on GCSE resits

25 August 2015

Commenting on a paper by the think tank Policy Exchange which argues that Further Education Colleges should receive additional funding to help students with GCSE English and maths resits, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Policy Exchange proposal would simply penalise secondary schools without improving matters substantially for FE colleges. 

GCSE results

20 August 2015

Commenting on today’s GCSE results, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Today’s GCSE results are a reflection of the hard work of pupils and their teachers throughout their study programme.

Children’s Society

19 August 2015

Commenting on The Good Childhood Report 2015, an international survey by the Children’s Society (1), Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is very concerning that this survey shows again that children in schools in England and Wales are more unhappy than in many other countries.

A-Levels

13 August 2015

Commenting on today’s A-Level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The results for A and AS-Levels reflect the hard work of students and their teachers.  Many young people will rightly be celebrating their achievements and considering their options for the future, and nothing should detract from that.

Truancy

12 August 2015
Commenting on the latest statistics on school truancy in England, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“A good school attendance record is central to enabling each child to reach their full potential, developing necessary personal and social skills as well as progressing in their formal education. There can be many reasons why a child or young person is not at school, but truanting arising from complex problems will be better tackled by dealing with the cause, rather than imposing fines or imprisonment on families who may already face significant difficulties.

Ofqual and OCR

7 August 2015

Commenting on the publication of Ofqual's final report of its investigations into OCR's 2014 marking issues, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The NUT welcomes the fact that both OCR and the Regulator had systems in place to identify and address difficulties as they arose. Ofqual's report will come as an assurance to students who are set to receive their A Level and GCSE results in the next few days, but the timing of its release seems ill-judged.

New FOI Data Released Today

31 July 2015

NEW FOI DATA RELEASED TODAY: ‘inadequate’-rated schools more likely to remain ‘inadequate’ if they become a sponsored academy

New FOI data released today provides the first official data on the effect of sponsored academy status on the Ofsted ratings of underperforming schools.

Exclusion Figures

30 July 2015

Commenting on the publication by the Department for Education of national statistics for permanent and fixed-term exclusions in England during 2013/14, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“While, clearly behaviour issues have to be addressed for the sake of the whole school community, there is no quick fix.

Commission on Assessment without Levels

29 July 2015

Commenting on the findings of the leaked draft report of The Commission on Assessment without Levels, the publication of which had been delayed by Government until September 2015, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

"The report presents a serious challenge to Government policy on assessment: no wonder the Department for Education is delaying its publication.

Email Curfews

27 July 2015

Commenting on Nicky Morgan’s suggestion in today’s Daily Telegraph that teachers should not deal with schoolwork and email after 5pm, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Academy Chains

24 July 2015

Commenting on Chain Effects 2015, the Sutton Trust’s latest report on the impact of academy chains on low-income students, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This report exposes the blatant hypocrisy at the heart of the Government’s education policy. Ministers have failed to carry out any evaluation of whether their flagship policies are driving improvement in the schools system. Instead, the Conservatives are dogmatically insisting on placing even greater numbers of schools under the charge of academy chains, whose governance and performance it has failed to evaluate properly.

School Places

23 July 2015

Commenting on the national pupil projections which predict a 20% rise in secondary school pupil numbers over next decade, and a continued rise in the primary schools population, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“With pupil numbers set to rise and the shortage of primary school places now spilling into a secondary place shortage it is imperative that Government acts quickly to resolve this serious problem. This means securing greater funding for capital development but this alone will not be enough.
 

Extremism

15 July 2015

Commenting after the Prime Minister’s speech on tackling extremism, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Teachers will expect the Department for Education and Home Office to work to ensure expectations on schools linked to counter terrorism measures are clear, realistic and productive.

School Funding

17 July 2015

Commenting on the Written Statement on School Funding in 2016-17, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The announcement that the amount of schools block funding per pupil will be frozen in cash terms in 2016-17 means a significant cut in real terms due to inflation. 

Trade Union Bill

15 July 2015

Commenting on the publication of the Trade Union Bill, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"Whilst yet to consider the details, the headlines clearly outline an unprecedented attack on trade unions and the rights of working people to take industrial action when disputes cannot be resolved.

PSHE and Sex & Relationships Education

15 July 2015

Commenting ahead of Caroline Lucas MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons today, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

"All children and young people in state funded schools deserve an entitlement to Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, including Sex and Relationships Education. 

Early Years

13 July 2015

Commenting on the release of Ofsted's Early Years Annual Report 2015, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The NUT congratulates the great work of staff in Early Years settings.

Budget Statement

8 July 2015

Commenting on the Budget Statement delivered today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“We should all be concerned by the Government’s addiction to austerity. 

Exam Factories?

4 July 2015


Today, the National Union of Teachers publishes Exam Factories? The impact of accountability measures on children and young people. The study was commissioned by the NUT and conducted independently by Emeritus Professor Merryn Hutchings of London Metropolitan University.

This is a wide ranging research project that incorporates a survey of almost 8,000 teachers, an extensive literature review and quantitative research utilising case studies of both heads and teachers (not all of whom are NUT members) and children.

Joint statement from ATL and NUT on baseline assessment

1 July 2015

Responding to the Government’s announcement that they are to introduce reception baseline assessment, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said:
 
“We are deeply concerned about the introduction, this September, of the baseline assessment of four- and five-year-old children in reception classes.

Prevent Strategy

30 June 2015

Commenting on the new duties placed on schools under the Prevent Strategy, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The jury is out as to whether extra statutory requirements are the most effective way to help young people stay safe, think critically, or reject engagement with groups who advocate violence.

Coasting Schools

30 June 2015

Commenting on the Government’s newly unveiled definition of a ‘coasting’ school, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“We congratulate Nicky Morgan on finally arriving at a definition of ‘coasting’. This took an impressive 45 days – but still shows a real incoherence in Government policy, especially in primary schools.

Child Poverty

25 June 2015

Commenting on the Government’s child poverty statistics, which were published today, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Today’s figures show that the Government has nothing to offer when it comes to tackling child poverty.

John Cridland on Exam Factories

19 June 2015

Commenting on John Cridland’s speech to the Festival of Education, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Asbestos in Schools

17 June 2015

Commenting ahead of this morning’s debate on BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is time for Government to tackle the scourge of asbestos in schools.

Ofsted inspection figures

16 June 2015

Commenting on Nicky Morgan’s announcement following the release of Ofsted’s published data on the latest inspection results for schools in England, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT congratulates and thanks teachers for the hard work that they do in schools day in and day out to improve the life chances of children and young people.

Behaviour

16 June 2015

Commenting on Nicky Morgan’s announcement of the appointment of Tom Bennett as the new school “behaviour tsar”, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Increasing training for student teachers and new teachers on managing classroom behaviour is to be welcomed. 

Ebacc GCSEs

16 June 2015

Commenting on a speech by Nicky Morgan in which plans were set out to ensure that every pupil starting secondary school this autumn will go on to study five Ebacc subjects in GCSEs from 2018, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The new government is building on the errors of the last.

Ofsted

15 June 2015

Commenting on the launch of Ofsted’s new inspections framework, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT welcomes Ofsted’s acknowledgement that there have been inconsistencies in Ofsted inspections.

Primary Schools

12 June 2015

Commenting on the latest Department for Education census of the primary school population in England, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Primary school class sizes are up, as are pupil rolls.

Education and Adoption Bill

3 June 2015

Commenting on the tabling of the Education and Adoption Bill which will seek to convert 1,000 ‘failing’ schools to academy status and remove “bureaucratic and legal loopholes”, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

The Coalition Government railroaded through its Academies Act with the minimum of consultation, and regularly used force and coercion to push schools towards academisation.

Queen’s Speech

27 May 2015

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This is a Queen’s Speech which entrenches inequality.

College of Teaching

22 May 2015

Commenting on the setting up of a selection committee to find 13 founding trustees for the College of Teaching, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“We look forward to the appointment of a Board of founding trustees which is representative of the profession, and which is genuinely independent of government and commercial interests.

Opening of latest round of free school applications

22 May 2015

Commenting on the opening of the latest round of free school applications and Nicky Morgan’s comment that free schools act as drivers of “social justice”, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Free schools are not the answer.

Government Plans to Tackle “Failing and Coasting” Schools

17 May 2015

Commenting on Nicky Morgan’s announcement of plans to improve schools, which will be introduced in the Queen’s Speech, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government is looking in completely the wrong place if they are interested in social justice.

Childline on Exam Stress

14 May 2015

Responding to Childline’s finding that calls received about exam-related stress have doubled in the past twelve months, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“We must all listen to what the children calling Childline are saying about exam-related stress.

Outsourcing Homework

30 April 2015

Responding to Rebecca Allen’s comments that sending pupils’ work abroad to be marked will save money and reduce workload, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This doesn’t take account of the nature of assessment.

Teaching Unions and NGOs lobby Pearson AGM

24 April 2015

A number of national and international teaching unions and global justice NGOs will lobby* the Annual General Meeting of  the education and publishing company Pearson on Friday, from 11am, at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London. Please follow the hashtag #tellpearsson for updates on the day.

Liberal Democrats’ education plan

20 April 2015

Commenting on the Liberal Democrats’ 'Five Point Plan' for teachers and parents Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“With around 1,000 teachers and thousands more parents in every constituency, it is good politics for the Liberal Democrats to focus on education.

School Places

16 April 2015

Commenting on the school places allocations due today, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Since state education began, governments have had two essential responsibilities: to train and employ a sufficient number of teachers, and to secure school places for all pupils who require them.

Liberal Democrats Manifesto

15 April 2015

Commenting on the launch of the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto for the General Election, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Manifestos can be swept aside in coalition, as we have seen, but we welcome the Liberal Democrats’ prioritisation of education funding.

Labour Childcare Pledge

14 April 2015

Commenting on Labour’s commitment to a ‘national primary childcare service’ including breakfast and after-school clubs, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Conservative Education Manifesto

14 April 2015

Commenting on the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledges on education, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“In the space of five years, the Coalition Government has de-skilled the profession by dropping the requirement that teachers should be qualified, atomised the education system so that schools are pitted against one another, and worsened pay and pensions to such an extent that many talented teachers are leaving.

Labour Education Manifesto

9 April 2015

Commenting on the Labour Party's education proposals, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"There are some positive elements in the Labour Education Manifesto such as the right for a child to be taught by a qualified teacher, smaller class sizes, the restoration of sure start and face to face career guidance.

SATs resist in secondary schools

8 April 2015

Commenting on the announced plans for a future Conservative government to introduce resits in secondary school for pupils in England who failed to achieve the expected level in their SATs at the end of primary school, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

School accountability is resulting in narrow priorities and anxious children, research shows

4 April 2015

New research by Emeritus Professor Merryn Hutchings and Dr Naveed Kazmi for the National Union of Teachers examines the impact of school accountability on children and young people.

Academies and Free Schools

23 March 2015

Commenting on the Government’s response to the Education Select Committee report on academies and free schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This response by Government demonstrates breathtaking complacency.

College of Teaching

20 March 2015

Commenting on the Government’s commitment to a College of Teaching, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government has had five years to work on policies for teacher development.

Nicky Morgan attends tonight's NUT Education Question Time

20 March 2015

Ahead of tonight's NUT-organised event in Loughborough* which features Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, fellow panellist Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The NUT's Education Question Times are a great opportunity for parents, teachers and the general public to put their questions to the politicians in the run up to the election about education issues that concern them.

NUT comment on the Budget Speech

18 March 2015

Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget Speech, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Yet again, George Osborne has completely failed to recognise the need to invest in education. 

NUT’s 'The Teacher magazine' asks political parties what they stand for on education

17 March 2015

Ahead of the General Election, the NUT’s The Teacher magazine asked the main political parties their position on Ofsted, funding, child poverty and qualified teachers*.  

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“As teachers make up a significant section of each constituency, prospective parliamentary candidates need to take into account our views and concerns.

Extremism in Schools

17 March 2015

Commenting on Extremism in schools: the Trojan Horse affair, a report by the Education Select Committee published today, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The Education Committee report about Trojan Horse offers important warnings that stretch further than the issue of how to prevent extremism.

NAHT & NUT welcome government response to concerns about Disqualification by Association

In February NAHT and the NUT wrote to the Secretary of State, outlining why the rules on disqualification by association, developed to protect children in childminders’ homes, remain disproportionate for a school setting.

Publication of the findings of the Government’s review of schools asbestos policy is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

13 March 2015

The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC), which has been campaigning for many years to improve the way in which the asbestos is managed in UK schools, welcomes the publication of the Government’s long-delayed asbestos in schools report.

Government publishes review into asbestos in schools

12 March 2015

Commenting on the publication of The management of asbestos in schools. A review of Department of Education policy, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Following sustained pressure from the NUT and other education unions, the Government has finally published the findings of its review of asbestos policy in schools.

Teachers Pay Award

12 March 2015

Commenting on the Government’s announcement on teacher pay following the publication of the 25th report of the School Teachers Review Body (STRB), Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The STRB has acknowledged the NUT's concerns about teacher supply.

Government recruitment drive of maths and physics teachers

11 March 2015

Commenting on the Government drive to attract career changers, former teachers and top graduates into maths and science teaching Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said

“Teacher recruitment and teacher retention have become areas of crisis.

Government review into asbestos in schools still not published

9 March 2015

Commenting on the fact that staff and children continue to be put at risk while the Government drags its feet over the publication of its own review of asbestos management in schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers the largest teachers’ union said:

“Having accepted Government assurances that the long-delayed findings of its schools asbestos review would be published early in 2015, the NUT now considers that the Government has acted in bad faith and that there is no intention to publish before the pre-election ‘purdah’ period begins on 30 March.

Policy Exchange research into free schools

9 March 2015

Commenting on the Policy Exchange report, A Rising Tide: the competitive benefits of Free Schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT does not accept the conclusions of this report.

World Book Day

5 March 2015

Commenting on the importance of World Book Day, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

‘The NUT celebrates the world of the book and all who inhabit it – writers and artists, readers and teachers.

Careers education

2 March 2015

Commenting on the Teach First report 'Careers education in the classroom: The role of teachers in making young people work ready', Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“While the role of teachers of course goes beyond the role of making pupils ‘work ready’, the NUT has campaigned for the proper reinstatement of careers education information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for many years.

Secondary school place offers

2 March 2015

Commenting on the notification today of the allocation of secondary school places for children, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
 
“The NUT wishes all parents and pupils well in securing a secondary school place for those moving into year 7 from primary school.

David Cameron: Schools should set pupils according to ability

26 February 2015

Commenting on newspaper reports that David Cameron’s believes schools should divide pupils into sets according to their ability, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Before the Conservatives impose yet another policy on schools, they should look at the evidence.

New Commission on Assessment in Primary Schools

25 February 2015

Commenting on the announcement today by the Minister for School Reform, Nick Gibb, of a new teacher-led commission being set up to help primary schools in England find new ways of assessing pupils, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Nick Gibb’s announcement of a new commission on assessment in primary schools is based on a mix of many good intentions, some support for bad practice and a general reluctance to identify just why assessment is a burden for primary schools.

Durham Free School to close

25 February 2015

Commenting on the notice of termination of the funding agreement for Durham Free School, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is a great shame to see any school close as this is an extremely disruptive process for children and their education.

Ed Miliband’s speech re creative education

24 February 2015

Commenting on the Labour Leader’s speech on creative education in schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Ed Miliband’s promise that a Labour government will strengthen creative education in schools by guaranteeing every young person access to the arts and culture is certainly welcome.

Work Your Proper Hours Day

27 February 2015

Commenting on the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day survey, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
 
‘Yet again teachers are at the top of the list for unpaid hours worked.

NUT comment on the Warwick Commission

18 February 2015

Warwick Commision

Commenting on a report by the Warwick Commission, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This is the second report in as many days to confirm that England has a curriculum and assessment system which is too narrow and simply does not allow children and young people to develop their full potential in all areas.

Sex Education

17 February 2015

Commenting on the report of the Education Select Committee, Life Lessons: PSHE and SRE in Schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT welcomes this hard-hitting report.

NUT comment on Labour's Education Plan

12 February 2015

Commenting on Ed Miliband’s announcement of the Labour Party’s plan for education, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT welcomes Ed Miliband’s announcement that the funds currently set aside for Free Schools will be reallocated to address the primary school places crisis.

ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NUT and Voice write to Sec of State and Nick Clegg re workload challenge

Please see attached a letter from five teaching unions ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NUT and Voice to the Education Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, about the response from Government to the Workload Challenge.

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