Northern Ireland

Teachers are 'guardians of civilisation,' says new NASUWT head

Fred Brown Image copyright Kevin Cooper Photoline
Image caption Fred Brown will be inaugurated at the union's annual conference in Manchester on Friday

Teachers are the "guardians of civilisation", according to a Northern Irish teacher who is the new national president of the NASUWT teaching union.

Fred Brown will be inaugurated at the union's annual conference in Manchester on Friday.

The NASUWT is one of the largest and most powerful teaching unions in the UK.

Mr Brown is expected to tell delegates too many young teachers are leaving the profession as they are so demoralised.

While they loved working with their pupils, many "hated all the nonsense which pollutes education", he will say.

"All the scientists and artists and journalists, all the plumbers and taxi drivers and machinists, all the doctors and care workers and nurses, all have benefited from what we do.

"What is good in our global society is possible because of teachers.

"We are, truly, the guardians of civilisation."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The NASUWT is one of the largest teaching unions in Northern Ireland

He is also set to call for working rights for teachers from other countries to maintained after the UK exits the EU.

Mr Brown has taught since 1980 in a range of schools and youth projects in Belfast and County Down.

He became a teacher after first working in a factory.

Members of the NASUWT in Northern Ireland have recently taken strike action over pay, jobs and workload.

In October 2016, all five main teaching unions in Northern Ireland rejected an offer that would have seen their pay frozen last year and a rise of 1% for 2016-17.

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