Do I need to join a teaching union?

Many teachers and school staff will be deciding their options when subscribing to a teaching union or edu-legal support such as Edapt (or in some cases both!).

What is the decision making process a teacher makes when choosing the most appropriate support?

Surprisingly, there are no comparison websites such as GoCompare or which collates the monthly subscription costs for different teaching roles, regional fees, satisfaction ratings and opening hours for different organisations.

How do new and existing teachers decide from a variety of options available? From my own experience as a school teacher it seems to include the following factors:

  • Feedback and word of mouth from teachers in the same school or department. The ‘group think’ mentality of what organisation does everyone else subscribe to 
  • Shared values, vision and ideology of the education system. Some would argue whether teaching unions should be involved with topics such as assessment and pedagogy
  • Monthly and annually pricing, special offers and affiliate deals
  • Testimonials from existing subscribers or members
  • Quality of outcomes when employment is threatened or terminated. For example, when threatened with redundancy what outcome will your organisation be able to secure you? 
  • Political or apolitical stance. Some teachers and school staff want high-quality employment support without being balloted for strike action or their fees going towards political lobbying 
  • Tone of voice, design aesthetics and accessibility when updating details online or raising a case and talking to a human being over the phone

Accessing high-quality and personalised support

With these range of decisions teachers are becoming much more savvy when weighing up the pros and cons of different support available. Some would say that employment support and protection shouldn’t be seen as something you can compare, or decide to switch between like a phone contract or energy supplier.

However, the quality of advice, professionalism of accompaniment and overall value are certainly determining factors when we see teachers on social media deciding to switch between teaching unions and to organisations like Edapt.

As professionals, teachers have high expectations of the quality of support provided and expect accessibility via mobile, live chat and excellent customer support. They are looking for ethically conscious and environmentally friendly organisations which they can rely on should the situation arise.

Some might argue whether the majority of teachers have strong feelings towards their trade unions? Certainly some teachers will be regional reps and engage with union organised CPD on a regular basis, whereas others will only want a limited amount of interactions with periodical magazines and email updates.

There are very few organisations where people have a really strong affinity or attachment towards, with Apple and Monzo being among just a handful with having vocal advocates and supporters. Do teaching unions have that strong affiliation across all members, or is it just the most vocal supporters? 

Edapt has the best value subscription for full-time teachers

There are pros and cons between all the different providers to choose from and teachers are much more informed than ever to make that decision. To be a member of a particular organisation for life might be changing as teachers become more aware to the freedom of choice and quality available.

In the tables below, I’ve outlined some of the main differences and similarities between the options available. It should be noted that Edapt provides the best value employment support for full-time teachers.

If you are thinking about subscribing to Edapt you can subscribe here.

Call us on 0203 475 3998 and we can answer any questions you may have over the phone.

How does Edapt differ from a teaching union?


Full-time subscriptions for school staff

Here is a comparison of the subscription prices for full-time school staff (updated in February 2022).

*Edapt’s subscriptions include no local, political or hidden fees. In addition, all our annual subscriptions include a 10% discount.

**NEU’s subscriptions included in the table above include a local subscription fee of 15%. All local districts of the NEU set and collect a local subscription from members. Local subscriptions are set between 5% and 15% of the national subscription rate. 

***NASUWT rates included in the table above include subscription fees with a political fund.

Subscribe to Edapt today from as little as £8.37 per month to get access to high quality edu-legal support services to protect you in your teaching and education career.


One thought on “Which teaching union to join?

  1. Joanne Westgate says:


    I am a secondary school teacher with 18 years experience working in Devon since September 2020.

    I have been a member of the NUT/NEU for my entire teaching career and have decided to quit my membership due to the course of action taken by the NUE throughout the Corona Virus pandemic. I have never gone on strike contrary to my union’s suggestions over the years as I did not believe any of the ’causes’ were sufficiently justified to stop teaching children.

    I have been very disappointed and let down by the endless calls to shut schools, one demand after another to ‘protect’ teachers beyond the need for protection and at the expense of our student’s education.

    In March-July, I wrote regularly to my NUT rep in Barnet, he was polite enough and we had some reasonable discussions but we are very far from agreeing. The latest emails I have received from the NEU demanding the closure of schools are delinquent and selfish. I cannot continue to subscribe to this organisation.

    I have read through the policy information from the other standard unions I am able to join and feel that they are similar. I have looked through your information and feel you can meet my needs. From what I have written, please can you advise if membership of Edapt would be recommended?

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