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Kevin Courtney (born 16 August 1959) is a Welsh former school teacher, and the joint (along with Mary Bousted) General Secretary of the National Education Union, the largest teachers' trade union for England and Wales.
|Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union|
|Assumed office |
1 September 2017
Co-leader with Mary Bousted
|Preceded by||Position established|
|General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers|
May 2010 – 1 September 2017
|Preceded by||Christine Blower|
|Succeeded by||Union merged with the ATL|
|Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers|
2010 – 2016
|Preceded by||Christine Blower|
|Succeeded by||Position vacant|
|Born||16 August 1959|
Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales
|Education||Trefforest Primary School|
|Alma mater||Imperial College London|
Chelsea College of Science and Technology
|Occupation||Union leader, former teacher|
He was born in Pontypridd, now in Rhondda Cynon Taf, earlier part of Mid Glamorgan, and Glamorgan before 1974. His mother was a cleaner at Glamorgan Polytechnic in Pontypridd, which became the Polytechnic of Wales in 1975, and the University of Glamorgan in 1992. He went to Trefforest Primary School and Coedylan Comprehensive, now called Pontypridd High School.
After graduating, Courtney worked as a physics teacher.
When teaching physics at Camden School for Girls, a comprehensive school, he joined Camden National Union of Teachers. In 1998 he founded the NUT's School Teachers Opposed to Performance Pay (STOPP) campaign, to argue against performance-related pay. From 1990–2010 he was the secretary of Camden NUT. He became an NUT executive in 2006.
He became deputy General Secretary of the NUT in 2010. He became acting-leader of the NUT in May 2016 when Christine Blower stepped down as general secretary. He has been on the board of the Teaching Awards.
On 15 July 2016 he became the General Secretary of the NUT, in a vote where he received 70% support.
In 2017 the NUT merged with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) to form the National Education Union (NEU). Since then, Courtney has served as joint General Secretary of the NEU alongside Mary Bousted, who was General Secretary of the ATL.
Policies as a union leaderEdit
Courtney has said he wants to have SATs tests abolished.
He has worked with the Anti Academies Alliance, a pressure group opposing the transfer of the operation of schools in England from the public sector to private-sector organisations.
Courtney is critical of funding cuts to education which he feels lead to larger classes and less well qualified people teaching children. Courtney said, "Whoever caused this economic crisis, it wasn't our five-year-olds in schools now," Courtney also fears many teachers could leave the profession. Courtney said, “If the government does not act decisively and soon, the recruitment and retention crisis will seriously damage our children and young people’s education.” Courtney also stated, “Our own research shows that 81% of teachers have considered leaving the profession in the last year because of workload, driven in a large part by time-consuming data gathering that has little or nothing to do with children’s education. Real-terms pay cuts have put teaching far behind other graduate professions and, in London and other hotspots around the country, very high rents have also contributed to the problem. It is no surprise that, faced with this, teachers leave the profession.”
|Trade union offices|
| Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers
| General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers
Union merged with the ATL
| General Secretary of the National Education Union
With: Mary Bousted