Why I'm voting YES: I love my union

Blog
27 February 2017 by ATL
Kids in drama class
I was one of the first trainees under the School Direct scheme in 2013. During my training, I was lost - we didn’t fit well into the world of initial teacher education, and no one seemed to care. We were guinea pigs. I had an awful start to my NQ year and was on the verge of leaving teaching.

ATL was the only union that made me feel like an individual. I was lucky, I received an email from ATL Future inviting me to share my experiences of School Direct. They listened and even invited me to be part of the ATL Future delegation to conference, and I have been heavily involved ever since.

I love my union. I love how I can be in the same union as my teaching assistant, my school’s administrator and my headteacher. I love how I’ve had the opportunity to have my voice heard on a national scale. I can only thank those who created the ATL I know and love, and ask you now to be open to the possibilities a new union brings. 

At the NUT’s Young Teachers’ Conference last year, I learnt that the average NUT member isn’t that different to us. We all work in education, we all want what’s best for our members, and, ultimately, what is best for the children and young people in our care. 

ATL is smaller, yet has always punched above its weight. But our size does bring limitations - in many workplaces we are the minority. That is why I am fighting for this new union. I want our membership to grow within schools, creating a voice that is united not divided, nationally and locally. I want a union that supports all those who work in education - management, teachers, support staff. I want one voice that fights for all who sacrifice so much for the sake of our children’s education, and I want it to be so loud that those so-called experts in the Department for Education will no longer be able to ignore us.

Huw Tindall-Jones, a newly qualified drama teacher at a Plymouth school

See what other ATL members say about the ballot