If you are interested in historical feminist campaigns…

‘The Woman Teacher – the Organ of the National Union of Women Teachers’

New resource available to read and download from our repository

Each issue of the journal has been scanned as one PDF. A sneaky bug we’re currently trying to fix means you can’t search within the documents from our interface, at present. So, if you want to search within them, you’ll need to open each one, and hit Ctrl+F to bring up a find box.

Or you can just read through the issues and getting an idea of what they contain. See the end of this post if you’re having problems making your way to the individual issues*.

Who they were and what they did

  • The National Union of Women Teachers (NUWT) was founded within the National Union of Teachers in 1904 as the Equal Pay League, the organisation was renamed the National Federation of Women Teachers in 1906. Lack of progress in securing NUT support for the equal pay campaign led to its establishment as an independent body, the National Union of Women Teachers, in 1920
  • The Union’s primary aim was the achievement of parity between men and women teachers’ pay and conditions of service. In 1955 the phased introduction of equal pay meant the NUWT’s primary aim had been achieved, and the decision was taken to close the Union at Easter 1961, when the final instalment would be paid

For some more “dynamic” content take a look at our blog, which was written by our NUWT cataloguer, and more recently, our Education Outreach Officer who used the collection as her focus to talk about equality and campaigning in primary schools http://nuwtarchiveioe.wordpress.com/

Anything else interesting?

Yes, plenty. Despite being principally a single issue campaign, the NUWT also interested itself in a wide range of issues relevant to the fight for equality;

  • In conjunction with other feminist organisations, the NUWT campaigned for women to have the vote on equal terms with men, on restrictions on the employment of married women, and the practice of appointing men as Head Teachers in most cases where girls’ and boys’ schools were amalgamated
  • They championed the extension of educational opportunities for girls, and their access to the professions
  • They campaigned for the general establishment of nursery schools
  • The use of corporal punishment was opposed
  • They supported the introduction of sex education in schools
  • In the 1930s links were developed with women’s organisations in other countries, and many NUWT members became involved in the peace movement
  • In the post war years attention was given to the radical changes brought about by the 1944 Education Act, and their professional and educational impact. It was concerned that girls should have the same access as boys to all technical subjects, and equal facilities for sports

Further reading ‘A history of the NUWT’, Emily Phipps, 1928
‘The story of the national union of women teachers ‘, Muriel Pierotti, 1963
‘Deeds not words – the lives of suffragette teachers’, Hilda Kean, 1989 – this contains information on a number of the founding and pioneering members of the NUWT

Also, our catalogue for the collection, with a fantastic history section (named AdminHistory), which gives a picture of what these women got up to.

*The screen our link sends you to should look something like this (apologies it’s so small).


Text underlined in blue are links. Click on one, and the scanned copy of the journal should open as a PDF.

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