Annual Conference April 2019
This year's conference was notable because it was the first NEU Annual Conference and there were a number of firsts with key note speeches from Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Liberal Democrats Education Secretary, Layla Moran. To me this was notable because it suggested that the main parties are listening to the concerns of the NEU.
The introduction of CPD or Professional inset sessions was interesting, although the traditional fringe meetings continued to be on my priority must do lists. I attended the No More Exclusions fringe meeting and anybody with a few years in teaching could not fail to have an opinion on this area. I listened to the first hand experiences of young people, parents and educationalists. Participants expressed concerns about the effect academisation has had on exclusion rates in specific ethnic communities.
Conference provides the opportunity to network with NEU trade unionists nationally and become immersed in education information and issues. I heard some inspirational speeches about teacher retention, the plight of supply teachers and supporting support staff in schools. I could go on, but my main point is that attending National Conference provides a necessary reminder of why our Union is important and the impact it has on the lives of many education workers, and the essential work it plays protecting an education system that serves all children.