New voice for education and childcare
Press release: 28 February 2008
New voice for education and childcare
From 28 February 2008 there will be a new voice for professionals working in education and childcare across the UK. On that day, the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) – and its sections Professional Association of Nursery Nurses (PANN) and Professionals Allied to Teaching (PAtT) – will become Voice: the union for education professionals (www.voicetheunion.org.uk).
Voice: the union for education professionals will present one, united name and image and reflect the fact that the Professional Association of Teachers has grown and developed to represent the whole team of professionals working in education, early years and childcare settings, from nursery to tertiary.
Like PAT, Voice will be an independent trade union representing education and childcare professionals in the public and private sectors, including: teachers, head teachers, lecturers in further and higher education; teaching assistants, technicians, administrators and support staff, nursery nurses, nannies and other childcarers and early years specialists. The union’s policy of looking after its members’ interests – locally, regionally and nationally – by negotiation, rather than by going on strike or taking other forms of industrial action, will remain a core value.
General Secretary Philip Parkin said:
"We chose the name Voice because dialogue is a core value for our union – it’s how we resolve issues, rather than by taking industrial action.
"This is not a decision that’s been taken lightly, but it is the culmination of a gradual process of transformation. PAT has been using a total of eight logos – including ones for independent schools and further & higher education – and three names – PAT, PANN and PAtT – depending on the type of member involved. This was sometimes confusing for new and potential members and for the media and other organisations we communicate with. We wanted to bring all sections together to create a seamless, integrated union that represents every professional in education and early years.
"The new Voice image is prominent and bold and uses fresh, modern colours. Choosing a name like Voice clearly represents what our union stands for and differentiates us from the many acronyms that exist in education and childcare.
"Members will still receive the high quality, personal service that we pride ourselves on, but they will notice the new name when they contact us and will receive new-look literature and publications, including a new members’ journal, Your Voice."
Voice will be launched at 10.30 am on 28 February 2008 on the PAT/Voice stand (U21) at The Education Show at the NEC, Birmingham.
ePolitix interview with Philip Parkin, 29 February 2007
Voice, which currently has around 35,000 members, is based in Derby and Edinburgh and has regional officers across the UK.
Voice is not affiliated to the TUC/STUC or to any political party and does not have a political fund, so all income is used to support members.
PAT/PANN/PAtT members voted in favour of the change of name to Voice at a Special General Meeting in Derby on 8 December 2007.
Voice’s first Annual Conference will be held from Monday 28 July to Wednesday 30 July 2008 at The Daventry Hotel, Northamptonshire.
History of PAT
The Professional Association of Teachers was founded in 1970 when two Essex teachers, Colin Leicester and Ray Bryant, appalled by the effect of teachers’ strike action on pupils, gathered together a group of like-minded professional teachers who were prepared to commit themselves to the principle of not striking.
During the early 1980s, a group of nursery nurses, who also wished to commit themselves to the principle of not striking, approached PAT for advice. As a result, the Professional Association of Nursery Nurses (PANN) was established in 1982. From 1 September 1995, following a ballot of PANN members, PANN became a section of PAT.
The Professionals Allied to Teaching (PAtT) section was launched in 2000.
NAASSC (National Association of Administrative Staff in Schools and Colleges) was affiliated to PAT/PAtT in 2001.
General Secretary Philip Parkin
Communications Officer Richard Fraser
Tel: 01332 372 337.
Scotland: Senior Professional Officer (Scotland) Maureen Laing
Tel: 0131 220 8241.
Wales: Director for Wales Nick Griffin
Tel: 01332 378029.