NASUWT: Overwhelming vote for ‘quiet revolution to reclaim the classroom’

Today, members of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, have voted decisively for industrial action to protect educational standards.

The overwhelming vote for industrial action is the first national ballot by the Union for over a decade.

NASUWT members voted emphatically and decisively for industrial action.

Over 220,000 teachers and school leaders took part in the ballot, the biggest of any single teachers’ union.

· 82% voted “Yes” for strike action
· 91% voted “Yes” for action short of strike action

Chris Keates, General Secretary, said:

“NASUWT members have voted overwhelmingly to reclaim the classroom and their profession in the face of relentless attacks on their working conditions, pensions and jobs.

“This emphatic vote demonstrates the commitment of our members to the vitally important job they do in educating the nation’s children and young people.

“Teachers have been faced with a rising tide of excessive workload and a series of attacks on their profession, including unjust pension reforms, worsening pay and conditions of service, and increasing job insecurity.

“They have endured months and months of relentless attacks which are taking their toll on morale and motivation.

“Half of all teachers have considered seriously quitting teaching altogether in the last twelve months.

“With such deep levels of demoralisation, our schools are on the brink of a crisis affecting recruitment and retention. Only the recession is preventing a mass exodus.

“The members of the NASUWT have today confirmed that we cannot go on like this.

“They will be leading the way by embarking on a quiet revolution to put quality education first.

“Teachers’ conditions of service are inextricably linked to providing the highest standards of education for all pupils.

“The members of the NASUWT have voted for industrial action that will be pupil, parent and public friendly.

“The members of the NASUWT did not rush to take industrial action. However, their patience has been severely tested.

“The Coalition Government needs now to take seriously the concerns voiced by the teachers today.

“This is a vote that cannot be ignored.

“It is a clear endorsement of the NASUWT campaign of Standing up for Standards and the need for the Coalition Government to change course.

“From 1 December, NASUWT members will be taking action to reclaim the classroom from the shackles of unnecessary paperwork, bureaucracy and debilitating accountability.

“They will be standing up for standards and demonstrating once and for all the importance of teaching.

“NASUWT members will also stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all public service workers who have also voted for industrial action on 30 November in the fight for pensions justice.


Notes to editors

The vote for action is based on a turnout of 40% of eligible members.

The NASUWT has issued detailed action instructions for action short of strike action which will commence on 1 December 2011.

The national action instructions can be found on the NASUWT website at