Go to a branch meeting

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ATL has over 100 active branches throughout the UK, representing over 170,000 education professionals across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Most are organised within the same areas as local authorities or groups of unitary authorities, and have an elected committee, headed by a branch secretary.

The size of the branch varies enormously from a few hundred to several thousand.

Most local branches meet once per term for an hour or so. The meetings are designed to give ATL members an update on what is going on in local schools and colleges, along with information on the national issues that affect you and your colleagues in the classroom.

Branches also arrange training and information sessions for local reps and contacts, and invite speakers to meetings.

How branches work

Members are elected by their colleagues in schools, colleges and other education workplaces to play different roles in the branch, including the following.

Branch president: the president of the branch facilitates branch and committee meetings. Some are also negotiators who take part in meetings with employer representatives, ie LA, college management or academy sponsor.

Branch secretary: the main contact person with the wider union who handles branch admin and normally attends meetings on behalf of ATL with employers (eg in the context of maintained schools, the local authority).

Branch treasurer: responsible for managing branch finances, including keeping accounts and applying for branch grants in order to put on CPD/training events and meetings.

Branch membership secretary: advises and helps recruit new ATL members and ensures their voices have an influence across the union.

Branch union learning rep: helps arrange training courses and education programmes for members, stewards, health and safety reps and branch officers.

Branch press and communications officer: coordinates branch newsletters, websites and other media.

Branches may create other posts according to their rules.

All branch officers have access to training from ATL, including a two-day induction for all new branch secretaries every September, with follow-on training in casework skills, and planning regional meetings and events, as well as a one-day course for branch treasurers.

If you'd like to find out more about how you can get involved with your local branch, you will find contact details via our 'find my branch' drop-down menu on the bottom right-hand side of this website.

As branch president I chair different meetings. Hearing information first hand really increases my knowledge. When my school hadn't implemented PPA time, I was able to sort it out because the meetings had given me the awareness.

Emma Wise, branch president