The formation of the NAMT was in response to an NUT referendum the same year, approving the principle of equal pay. A major change in salary policy which had been achieved whilst many male teachers were still away serving in the army.
A subsequent three year campaign by the NAMT to further the interests of male teachers in the NUT, saw its name changed in 1920 to the National Association of Schoolmasters (NAS) and finally resulted in secession of the NAS from the NUT in 1922. The secession came about indirectly following a decision at the NAS Conference that year to prohibit NAS members from continuing to also be members of the NUT after the 31 December 1922.
The NAS aimed to recruit every schoolmaster into the NAS, to safeguard and promote the interests of male teachers, to ensure recognition of the social and economic responsibilities of male teachers, and to ensure the representation of schoolmasters on matters concerned with education, with both the Local Education Authorities (LEA’s) and Government. The NAS also maintained that all boys over the age of seven should be taught mainly by men and that schoolmasters should not serve under women heads.
As the secondary education sector expanded, the NAS built its organisation among male secondary teachers, it adopted the methods of collective bargaining and militant industrial action in pursuing a narrow range of pay and conditions issues related to the interests of full time male ‘career teachers’. In 1976 the NAS merged with the Union of Women Teachers(UWT) largely as a consequence of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, under which it became unlawful to exclude from membership on grounds of gender, and became the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
NASUWT's official comments include “To describe the NASUWT's comments on this as ‘teachers want the right to bed pupils’ as one report has done, simply for pointing out an anomaly which criminalises a teacher but would leave any other adult free from prosecution for the same type of relationship, is a travesty."
Commenting on the anomaly in the law which relates to teachers and others who work with children and young people, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest UK-wide teachers' union, said:
"From the time the Sexual Offences legislation was first drafted in 2001 the NASUWT consistently raised the significant anomaly within its provisions.
"A teacher having a consensual relationship with a pupil over the age of 16 on the roll of the school in which they teach is liable under the Act to prosecution and being placed on the sex offenders register.
"However, if the same teacher has a consensual relationship with a young person of the same age who attends another school they would not be prosecuted or classed as sex offenders.
"Where such a relationship occurs between a pupil and a teacher at their school clearly it is a most serious issue. It is grossly unprofessional and there are disciplinary procedures available to deal with this. The consequence is nearly always dismissal for gross misconduct and being barred from teaching.
"To describe the NASUWT 's comments on this as 'teachers want the right to bed pupils' as one report has done, simply for pointing out an anomaly which criminalises a teacher but would leave any other adult free from prosecution for the same type of relationship , is a travesty. It trivialises the seriousness, complexity and importance of the issues for all those involved.
"The NASUWT provides clear advice to members that their relationships with pupils should at all times be professional. The Union is also equally clear that schools should be a safe environment for children and young people. Any teacher or other adult who works in schools who sexually abuses a pupil of any age or grooms entices or coerces them should face the full legal consequences, including placement on the sex offenders register."
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