Lay Structure of the NASUWT

The structure of the NASUWT

NASUWT School-based Representatives
  • Workplace Contact
  • Workplace Representative
  • Health and Safety Representative
  • Learning Representative

Elections for these posts must be held in school. All NASUWT members should be given a vote.

Further clarification can be sought from the following teams based at Rednal:

Please call 0121 453 6150 for further details.

NASUWT Workplace Contact

Any member of the NASUWT in a workplace can volunteer to become a contact in those workplaces where there is no accredited NASUWT Representative.

The contact is the vital link in the workplace to ensure members are receiving the information, advice and support that they need.

The role includes:

  • updating the Union notice board
  • circulating information directly to members
  • prompting members to respond to ballots
  • pass information about the benefits of being a member to newly qualified and any new teachers to the workplace
  • communicating any concerns members may have to the NASUWT Local Association Secretary.

There is no formal NASUWT training course for this role but it is covered in other courses.

NASUWT Representative - The School Rep

An NASUWT Representative will deal with the headteacher regarding local, day-to-day issues affecting NASUWT members in their particular school.

An NASUWT Representative may, after receiving training, deal with low-level individual cases.

An NASUWT Representative can always contact their Local Association Secretary, National Executive Member (login required) or National/Regional Centre for support, advice and guidance or to deal directly with the headteacher.

NASUWT offers an extensive range of training both at our residential educational centre in Birmingham and at our National/Regional Centres.

NASUWT Representatives, once elected by the NASUWT members within the school, have rights to time off for training and to carry out their role.

In larger schools,members sometimes elect a Deputy Representative to assist the School Rep.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

NASUWT Health and Safety Representative

NASUWT Health and Safety Representatives, who are elected by the NASUWT members within the school, make sure that NASUWT members’ workplaces are as safe as possible and do not cause illness or injury. 

Training is provided to support the activities of this role.

Importantly, the Health and Safety Rep has no ‘responsibilities’ for health and safety at the school, which remain with the school’s management.

Health and Safety Representatives are legally entitled to as much time off with pay as they need for training.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

NASUWT Learning Representative

NASUWT Learning Representatives are trained in advising members on learning needs and opportunities.

The role of the Learning Rep is to encourage, advise and sometimes help facilitate their members to take up learning opportunities. These opportunities can include opportunities linked to CPD but also should include learning outside of the workplace - lifelong learning.

Their work mostly involves face-to-face meetings and other direct contact with fellow workers. However, they may also work with employers and training providers to identify the range of learning opportunities available.

Learning Representatives share a level of trust with their members and can often engage those who would prefer not to discuss their learning needs/wants to their employer.

NASUWT Learning Representatives, once elected by the NASUWT members within the school, have rights to time off for training and to carry out their role.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

Local Branch Activists

Local Associations must adhere to Union Rules for local elections.

The following positions must be announced at Annual General Meetings and the correct procedures must have been followed as agreed in the NASUWT Model Rules.

President (Local Association)

  • Chairs meetings, possibly representing the branch alongside the Secretary at Federation meetings.
  • This role requires a pay slip.
  • This is an elected post.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

This course is for a group of Local Association activists to attend together.

Vice-President (Local Association)

  • Same as for the Local Association President. This is an assisting and deputising role. The President ‘in waiting’.
  • This role requires a pay slip.
  • This is an elected post.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

This course is for a group of Local Association activists to attend together.

Local Association Secretary

  • Senior Organiser - liaises with Headquarters and National/Regional Centres.
  • Possibly undertakes casework on behalf of the NASUWT.
  • The Local Association Secretary is the first point of contact for School Representatives on many issues.
  • Convenes meetings of the local committee and the general membership.
  • Produces agendas and undertakes, possibly with help from others, general administration of the branch.
  • This role requires a pay slip.
  • This is an elected post.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

This course is for a group of Local Association activists to attend together

Local Treasurer

  • Manages the Local Association bank account and funds.
  • Prepares and monitors the budget with the Local Association Officers.
  • The Local Treasurer reports to the National Treasurer.
  • This is an elected post.

The NASUWT offers bespoke training to support members taking on the role of Treasurer.  The training is delivered by staff colleagues from the Finance Team at Rednal. 

Training can be arranged by emailing the Finance Team.

Equality Officer

NASUWT Local Association Equality Officers are elected and accredited lay officials whose role is to assist the Local Association team in co-ordinating equalities work at a local level. Equality Officers are trained to provide support and guidance to Negotiating and Association Secretaries and promote the Association’s work on equalities issues. They will be involved in organising targeted recruitment campaigns and strategies to attempt to increase the involvement of members from under-represented groups. Their role will include working closely with the Local Association team to mainstream equalities issues and ensure they are central to the collective bargaining agenda.

This is an elected post.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

Additional training:

Health and Safety Officer/Co-ordinator

  • Supports elected Health and Safety Representatives on Health and Safety issues.
  • Often represents the NASUWT at meetings with the local authority on health and safety matters.
  • This is an elected post.

In addition to Health and Safety (Stage 1), the NASUWT also provides the additional courses for Health and Safety Reps:

Benevolent Officer

In many regions, the Local Association Secretary fulfils the function of the Benevolent Officer. However, in some areas, particularly where there are Benevolent Federations in operation, members are specifically elected to carry out the sole function of Benevolent Officer and to deal with any arising benevolence issues.

The primary role of the Benevolent Officer is to visit any members, former members or their dependants in their area who want to make an application to the Benevolent Fund, which is a registered charity. All applications for assistance must be completed by a Benevolent Officer, never by the applicant themselves. They also often brief the applicant on what information will be required from them, allowing them time to prepare for the visit by collating any relevant supporting documentation.

The Officer, or Visitor as they are commonly known, is expected to visit the applicant at their home and spend some time with them gathering details about family circumstances, employment situation, income and expenditure, and the background to their current financial difficulties, in order to complete the benevolent application form. Supporting documentation such as bank statements, bills and wage slips are shown to the Visitor who may take a copy to submit with the application form.

The Visitor has to make recommendations on what they deem appropriate assistance for the applicant using the Benevolent Visitors Handbook as a guide. The Visitor is responsible for submitting the application form to the Benevolence Department at Headquarters, in order for the case to be put before the Central Benevolent Committee, who are also Trustees of the charity, for consideration. The Visitor is informed of any decisions made and sometimes asked to help clarify matters with the applicant, if the Committee requires further information.

Benevolent Officers who are involved with the Benevolent Federations may have an extended role and regularly attend local Benevolent Federation meetings. All Officers are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting held by the Central Benevolent Committee.

This is an elected post.

The NASUWT provides the following training for this role:

Local Association Nominee to National Executive Advisory Committees

The NASUWT has a number of committees which advise the National Executive on special areas of the Union's work. They comprise members nominated by local branches and a small number of National Executive Members. 

Notification is sent to Local Association Secretaries so members wishing to sit on an advisory committee HAVE to attend their relevant local meeting.

The current group of Advisory Committees are:

  • BME Members
  • Disabled Members
  • Leadership Group
  • LGBTI Members
  • Post-16
  • Primary
  • Special Education
  • Women Members
  • Young Members

This is an elected post.

The position is open to members of the NASUWT.  It does not come with facility time so employers would have to provide paid time off for members to attend these meetings.

Please refer to appendix one of this document for further information about the role.

National Roles

National Executive Member

The role of National Executive Members (NEMs) is classed as an activity and therefore does not automatically come with facility time. It is a very important role within the NASUWT as the role bridges the gap between staff and lay activists. 

NEMs are expected to attend as many Local Association and Federation meetings in their area as they can. They will also be expected to attend and chair meetings at their National/Regional Centres, as well as promoting the work of the NASUWT at all levels of negotiation.

NEMs are responsible for collective industrial action within their District.

Once elected to the National Executive, each member is allocated by the President to one of six Standing Committees responsible for particular aspects of the Union’s affairs:

  • Education
  • Legal Aid, Services and Central Benevolence
  • Recruitment
  • Salaries, Pensions and Conditions of Service
  • Trade Union Education and Training
  • Health and Safety at Work

Each of these Committees elects one or two members to serve on the seventh Standing Committee of the Executive, the Equal Opportunities Committee.

Apart from attending the monthly meetings of the National Executive on which they will be representing your views, NEMs also work on these Committees, developing policies and drafting advice.

National Officer

The National Officers, who are elected by the whole membership of the Union, have their own Committee. This Committee is very important since, among other things, it is responsible for authorising industrial action.

The five elected National Officers of the Union are:

  • President
  • Senior Vice-President
  • Junior Vice-President
  • Ex-President
  • Honorary Treasurer