Labour Research August 2016

Union news

NUT leader

Kevin Courtney has been elected general secretary of the UK’s largest teaching union — the 334,000-strong National Union of Teachers (NUT). He took 70% of the vote, with opponent Beth Davies receiving 30%.

Courtney has been acting general secretary since Christine Blower retired from the top post in June, and before that was the union’s deputy general secretary. 

He is a strong proponent of merger with the third largest teaching union, the ATL, and has been leading discussions to that end.

He cited his key challenges ahead as “the need to convince the prime minister and the new education secretary, Justine Greening, of the case both for proper investment in our education service, as opposed to the damaging cuts currently in place, and for urgent reform of the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 testing arrangements”.

Turnout in the election was low, at under 11%, providing more evidence of the need for electronic balloting to be permitted in union ballots.


Kevin Courtney 69.9%
Beth Davies 30.1%
Turnout 10.7%