Socialist Worker

Inaugural NEU union conference set to tackle education under attack

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2649

NEU members in action

NEU members in action (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The first NEU union conference takes place in Liverpool next week. The NEU school workers’ union was formed by a merger of the NUT and ATL unions.

The conference takes place as education is under attack. The overwhelming majority of schools face real terms funding cuts. And the Tories are continuing with their academy programme.

Meanwhile real terms pay cuts and excessive workloads are driving more teachers out of the profession.

The conference will begin by discussing the fight for more school funding and against privatisation. Delegates will also discuss campaigns over climate change, working conditions, pay and much more.

The union’s national executive committee has submitted a priority motion on LGBT+ inclusive Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). It follows the removal of inclusive RSE education at Parkfield school in Birmingham after parent protests. The removal has given confidence to homophobes and bigots to go on the offensive against inclusive education.

The motion notes that parent opposition to inclusive RSE is “being organised by a range of anti-LGBT+ groups”.

It says the union should oppose “any attempts to go back to the days of Section 28” where teachers were banned from treating LGBT+ relationships as equal.

The motion added that the union “should reject any attempt to use this issue to increase Islamophobia”.

It instructs the union to lobby the government to make teaching about LGBT+ relationships statutory in schools.


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