Equality

A commitment to equality runs through the work of the NEU in all its spheres.

You can find advice on challenging discrimination here.

Please click on relevant pages below for more information about our work in this area, useful resources and how you can get involved:

Disability

LGBT+

Race Equality

Religion and Belief

Women

Curriculum Resources

We are building a collection of curriculum resources that have been produced or recommended by our members with a focus on the 4 equality strands and international issues.

Please send any resources you would like to share to AlexKenny59@gmail.com

NEU Equality Awards

The NEU has two national awards given to members of the Union for their work on equality issues:

The Blair Peach Award

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-15-51-16The National Union of Teachers established the Blair Peach Award in March 2010. The award is named after the past president of East London NUT who was murdered during an anti-racist demonstration in Southall, London on 23 April 1979. It has since been adopted by the NEU.

The award is named after the past president of East London NUT (now Tower Hamlets and the City NEU) who was killed during an anti-racist demonstration in Southall, London on 23 April 1979.

On the day of his death, Blair Peach was marching against the far right National Front. He was killed by a blow the head from one of a group of police officers.

The award is granted to individual members or groups of members who have made significant and exemplary contributions to LGBTQ+, race, gender, and/or disability equality in their school or division.

You can find out more about the Blair Peach Award here. If you know someone you think should be nominated for the Blair Peach Award, contact Alex.kenny@exec.neu.org.uk

The Annie Higdon Award

The Annie Higdon Award is given to an NEU member or team of members to acknowledge the work they have done in challenging sexism and building women’s activity in the union.This could be work done on curriculum resources, pastoral initiatives, whole school structures and/or union activity and engagement.

The Award was first awarded in 2020 and is called the Annie Higdon award in honour of one of the leaders of the Burston school strike.

Annie and Tom Higdon arrived in Burston in January 1911, having been fired from their jobs in another Norfolk school for attempting to raise standards. They attempted the same again in Burston. They lit a fire to dry the children’s clothes, to heat water for baths and to cook nourishing stews. They taught their pupils not only letters and numbers but about the world beyond their harsh lives in Burston. For the first time, the children aspired to a better life. And their parents did too: Tom was urging them to unionise.

The School’s Board sacked them from their jobs but the students organised a strike which was to last 25 years. Annie and Tom set up an alternative school on the village green which prospered for many years.

You can find out more about the Annie Higdon Award here. If you know someone you think should be nominated for the Annie Higdon Award, contact Alex.kenny@exec.neu.org.uk.

The Blair Peach Award in Tower Hamlets

Curmiah St Catherine of Oaklands School was nominated for the Blair Peach in 2020 for her impact on equality and diversity in her school through both her contributions to a diverse curriculum and her confidence in engaging in challenging conversations.

This is what her nomination said about her and her work:

“Curmiah has made a permanent impact on equality and diversity in our school through both her contributions to a diverse curriculum and her confidence in engaging in challenging conversations.

Curmiah arrived at our school as English 2ic and immediately pioneered adapting our Year 8 ‘travel writing’ scheme of work into ‘Voices of Migration’. She worked with the organisation Positives and Negatives to develop a set of lessons exploring refugee journeys, using data from real refugee accounts to create spoken word poetry which students then performed in a showcase. This is now a permanent fixture in the Year 8 curriculum. Curmiah has been integral in casually integrating a diverse array of voices into our English curriculum; creating a whole-school world book day lesson introducing students to Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, and encouraging Year 7s to develop their own ideas of their city by comparing William Blake’s London with Caleb Femi’s A Tale of Modern Britain. She has made our English curriculum engaging, diverse and an introduction to a range of quality literature.

Curmiah also lives the values of the Blair Peach Award for keeping equality and diversity in focus each day. She has selflessly engaged in difficult discussions with colleagues and students and has significantly contributed to our students understanding of the importance of equality and diversity.”

Curmiah has spoken at several NEU on-line events on decolonising the curriculum and building an anti-racist curriculum.

Baljeet Ghale, ELTA Treasurer and a former national president of the national union, won the 2016 Blair Peach Award.

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-15-42-43She received the award for her outstanding work as a champion for diversity and equality at every level of the union, and in the wider community.

This includes a regular celebration of equalities at her school with the dedication of different weeks to different strands.

She was also chosen to feature in the Joint Council for Refugees campaign #iamanimmigrant to celebrate the contributions immigrants have made to our country.

Christine Blower, the then General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said:

“Baljeet Ghale is not one for ducking the issues that matter. She has championed diversity and equality at all levels – both at school level, and in the public eye. Many will remember the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants’ widespread poster campaign ahead of the 2015 General Election, in which Baljeet was one of many who said ‘I am an Immigrant’. This was a powerful message which celebrated diversity and challenged prejudice. Baljeet is a deserving winner of this year’s Blair Peach Award.”