Nearly half of young teachers say they have been discriminated against during their career because of their age, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard.

And two thirds of young teachers at the NASUWT’s Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference today (Saturday) in Birmingham said they had experienced bullying and harassment at work, with over a quarter being bullied by senior management in their schools.

A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Nearly half (48%) had been discriminated against because of their age while working as a teacher;
  • Over a quarter (28%) had experienced bullying and harassment from senior management. Overall, two thirds had experienced bullying at work, either from management, colleagues, pupils or parents;
  • Excessive workload was the main concern of three quarters of young teachers;
  • All (100%) said that they do not think government understands the day-to-day realities of teaching and 85% feel the government does not respect or value teachers;
  • Over two thirds (69%) say that pay matters to new recruits and those considering teaching as a career and 40% say that secure employment and fair access to pay progression would most encourage them to stay in teaching long-term.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, said:

“It was clear that the young teachers at the conference are absolutely and fully committed to being great teachers and to serving the children and young people they teach.

“However, it is deeply worrying, although unfortunately not surprising, that their commitment is being undermined by bullying and harassment and their energy and enthusiasm sapped by excessive workload and working hours.

“The Coalition Government has created a climate in which poor management practices can flourish, which is why the incidence of bullying and harassment is increasing.

“Young teachers are the future of the profession, a future which is being severely compromised by this Coalition's failure to encourage and secure employment practices which nurture and value teachers and their professionalism."


Members of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, will hold the first of six days of strike action starting tomorrow (13 January) at Merrill Academy in Derby.

The action has been called as a result of unacceptable working practices which are placing unnecessary burdens on teachers and undermining their professionalism.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The strike action is completely avoidable.

“The NASUWT has made every effort to secure an agreed way forward through genuine negotiation, but teachers’ have been faced with a dogged refusal to address their concerns.

“Like teachers across the country the teachers at Merill are all dedicated and committed members of staff, who have no wish to cause disruption to pupils or to parents, but in the face of the employer’s intransigence have been left with no choice but to protest in this way.

“All that is needed to avoid this strike action is a commitment to genuine discussions to seek to reach agreement on how teachers’ concerns can be addressed.

“The NASUWT stands ready to withdraw the strikes.”

Keith Muncey, NASUWT National Executive Member for Derby, said:

“Teachers have no wish to disrupt pupils’ education, but as their employer has so far been unable to meet their reasonable demands they have been left with no choice but to take this strike action.

“As professionals they are entitled to have their concerns addressed.

“That is all it will take to avoid strike action.”