Members of the National Union of Teachers and Association of Teachers and Lecturers have voted to form a new “super union”.
The National Education Union, which is expected to have a membership of more than 450,000 and will be the biggest education union in Europe, will officially come into being in September this year.
Official talks between the organisations, which are already closely linked, have been going on for several years, and members have now officially backed the change, with 73 per cent of ATL members and 97 per cent of NUT members voting for the change.
Mary Bousted said today this was an “historic moment”. “With nearly half a million members, we will speak with a stronger voice on behalf of education professionals and the children, young people and adults they support.
“The Government will need to listen when we speak on the key issues facing education – funding cuts, excessive workloads, the recruitment and retention crisis, the chaotic exam reform, and accountability.”
Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT, added: “This is a fantastic result for members of both unions and for education.
“For too long Governments, have played divide and rule amongst education unions. Today marks the beginning of the end of that.”
Other unions have also welcomed the move. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said it would create a “powerful voice within education”.