My name is Gawain Little and I am standing for Deputy General Secretary of your union.
I have worked in education for the last 19 years, as a member of support staff and then as a classroom teacher, in Oxfordshire and in Norfolk.
Find out more about me and my campaign, together for change, watch our campaign video, be part of the change.
I played a leading role in the team that brought ATL and NUT together to form the National Education Union, giving a stronger voice to all educators.
I have led nationally and internationally as National Executive Member and Chair of NEU’s International Committee whilst drawing on my experience as a Local Officer, Workplace Rep and serving teacher.
I have organised workplaces and led campaigns to defend outdoor education, the music service, libraries, youth work and children’s centres, and have saved schools from closure.
“Now I want to help lead the fight for the future of our education system.”
I grew up in a single-parent family in Liverpool in the 1980s, an experience which heavily influenced my values and bred in me a real opposition to poverty and inequality in all its forms. My mum instilled strong values in me, in particular a belief in collective approaches – as the saying goes: “if you want to travel fast, go alone; if you want to travel far, go together”.
As a child, I struggled with maths. Rote learning didn’t work for me and, no matter how many times I chanted my times tables, they wouldn’t go in. As I fell further and further behind, I became convinced that I just couldn’t ‘do’ maths. I was influenced by some inspirational educators who totally changed my perspective and I ended up doing a maths degree. It was this experience that made me want to become an educator.
Since leaving university, I have worked as a teaching assistant, then, following my PGCE, as a teacher for the past 19 years. During that time, I have completed a Masters degree in education, a Post-graduate certificate in primary specialist maths practice and conducted a number of school-based education research projects.
I have a track record of building grassroots activism and providing strategic leadership in campaigns. I have worked with other unions to develop campaigns to defend outdoor education, the music service, libraries, youth work and children’s centres. I have initiated campaigns to end holiday hunger and have saved schools from closure. I have also served in the national leaderships of a number of other organisations, including Celebrating Education, Comprehensive Future, the educational journal FORUM, the Reclaiming Schools research group, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.
However, I believe that the union is in the workplace, not in head office, and throughout that time I have been a serving primary school teacher and a workplace rep in the four schools I have taught at, building strong union groups in each one.
I have the experience, commitment and energy to help lead the fight for the future of our education system.