School leaders and college managers within the NEU
If the National Education Union is to achieve its ambition to be a ‘game changer’ in education, it must be widely seen to speak for all education professionals, including school leaders and college managers. The NEU’s ability to be the desperately needed force for change in education will be strengthened by increasing the numbers of leaders and managers who choose to remain in the NEU, participating in the development of policy and its implementation in schools and colleges.
The quality of leadership in schools and management in colleges affects, in direct and indirect ways, the quality of other education professionals (teachers, lecturers and support staff) working lives. Schools and colleges need to be effectively led by leaders and managers who are well supported and developed to meet and succeed in an immensely challenging education environment.
The alarming rate of teachers leaving the profession in early career (50% of teachers leave within five years), in the main because of excessive workload and stress, is damaging education, depriving schools and colleges of their most valuable resource, appropriately qualified teachers and lecturers.
Good employment practice, combined with a strong vision of the educational purpose of the school/college and trust for educational professionals, is essential if our schools and colleges are to places where educational professionals do work that is rewarding and enriching. The NEU sees the great value of supporting and helping to develop ethical leaders who recognise their colleagues’ professionalism and supports them in developing their careers.
School leaders and college managers are vital to the NEU. Their position of leadership within their institutions can strengthen or weaken (depending on their understanding and support) the NEU’s campaigns. For example, if the NEU were the leading union for primary school leaders, our campaign to stop the re-introduction of primary baseline testing, which most primary leaders oppose, would have greatly increased chances of success.
This defined leadership section, NEU Leadership, will retain members in the NEU as they progress into leadership and management roles in schools and colleges, stemming a wastage rate which is currently too high. This will increase income into the union (because NEU leaders will pay a higher membership fee) and strengthen the NEU’s capacity to effectively organise and bargain at school and college level.
Current AMiE members and relevant NUT members in leadership posts will transfer to the NEU leadership section. Consideration will be given to other categories of members who will transfer to the section. Membership of the section will thereafter apply to those who are:
The complex, professionally demanding work done by school leaders and college managers will be supported in the National Education Union by: