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Which Union?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by hawaii, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. hawaii

    hawaii New commenter

    I undertake my first headship part time from September and full time from January- I am currently a member of ATL in which I have had no problems (but only joined as it was free when I was a student), but with my new responsibility In a large academy chain I feel it is important for me to find the right Union- I have read some of their websites but they seem similar.

    Any suggestions/recommendations?

    Thankyou for any advice.
  2. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    As a deputy, when I needed help the NAHT were blinking useless. It's many years ago now but I always like to share that.
    Marshall and hawaii like this.
  3. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I have had up-close-and-personal relationships with both ASCL and NAHT, both for myself and for senior leaders I have supported.

    In my professional opinion, as a person now requalified in law, I consider the legal departments of both those professional associations could be described as negligent. I do not use that word lightly.

    Have a look at EDAPT. This is the organisation I would join, if I were still a teacher. I have no pecuniary interest in EDAPT. I have just witnessed the quality of their support for various teachers and senior leaders.
    hawaii likes this.
  4. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    That is rather worrying information GLsghost. I will take your advice and look at EDAPT.
  5. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    If you stay with ATL you can pay a bit more and become a member of AMiE which is specifically for school leaders.
  6. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Having been a member of NAHT for 14 years and having to only call on them twice, I agree that they are totally useless - no-one was available to talk to me (although it was extremely urgent - a major safeguarding issue which couldn't wait). This has really made me think what my £400+ annual subscription gives me. I need to reassess and find out what alternatives there out there - thanks for bring this up as without it I would just have plodded along.
  7. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I was very shaken by what I witnessed NAHT do to someone. I don't want to post identifiable information, for obvious reasons, so I'll be deliberately vague. It involved the unlawful dismissal of a senior member of staff on very spurious grounds, with six months' notice to do something about it.

    I was sure the information that was being given to the teacher by NAHT was incorrect, but doubted my knowledge because I was only a law student at the time. I thought that if NAHT lawyers were saying something different to me, then they had far more experience and must have a better understanding than I did.

    Anonymising the details, I ran it past my law tutors, who were all very experienced ex-practising solicitors and we did the research together. We found out that there was, indeed, something that could be done and, moreover, there was a top Chambers with a background in the particular problem who would have at least assessed the prospects for nothing. NAHT would not look at it or explore it, the six months came and went and the teacher lost her job.
  8. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I will be informing the NAHT about this thread - they need to know although I am not hopeful something will be done.
  9. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    I quit NAHT in 2010 when they appointed a new general secretary who had not only never been a head, he'd never even been a teacher. He's still in post.

    I didn't (and still don't) see how he could speak with any authority about his members' needs.
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I second EDAPT as a recommendation.

    In all honestly, as a former regional union rep, I think the power of 'group representation' in education has been substantially lost and the support unions give is really very variable. It is better to be protected and represented as an individual should you need it.
  11. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I am an active member of the NAHT and have found them helpful although I have never needed serious support. I know of some very good support given to local members. Russell Hobby, General Secretary, has done a lot of good work IMHO. He may not have been a head but he knows his stuff! As a head, I would prefer to be with a headteacher association rather than stay with one representing wider teaching membership.

    In a serious situation, you may need an employment solicitor as well or at a certain stage in proceedings.
  12. Teaching_Tricks

    Teaching_Tricks Occasional commenter

    As an ATL rep please remember that ATL have a separate sister union AMiE that specialises in supporting Senior Leaders - all you have to do is let ATL know and they will move you across.

  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    If unions are supposed to mean anything to us.
  14. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Really interesting.
    I've had two significant issues and an SOS contact with area rep in NAHT - and in none of those did anything actually happen! I kept chasing and eventually gave up.
    I am looking at alternatives too...

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