I have been an active Trade Union member for my entire working life. Initially working in the book publishing industry and then Youth & Community work in the Republic of Ireland, before moving to Cambridgeshire to work as a Youth Worker in the Criminal Justice System, before training to be a teacher in Post 16 Education in 2001.
I became a workplace rep in 2003 at Cambridge Regional College and have supported members through redundancy and restructuring processes, developing union learning agreements and negotiated the implementation of pay agreements.
I was elected to the ATL Executive in 2010 and represented the Union on the General Council of the TUC before being elected President of the NEU (ATL Section) from 2017 – 2018. It was a huge honour to chair the first meeting of the NEU’s Joint Executive Committee on September 1st 2017, the very first day of the Union’s existence. Leading the Union through its transition period, to see the election and formation of the NEU Executive and our first National Conference were equally the most challenging and most exhilarating moments of my Trade Union activism.
I am currently full time teacher of Teacher of Criminology and Health & Social Care at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, where I am the NEU Joint Rep.
I am currently an Executive Committee Member for District 6 in the Eastern Region and Chair of the Union Strength Strategic Committee.
I have written for publications including The Guardian, TES and Schools Week, and have appeared on numerous media outlets including BBC News, BBC Newsround, Sky News, CNN, BBC Radio 4 Today, BBC Radio 4 Moral Maze, BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC and Times Radio, and various local BBC Radio stations.
I owe my principles, my values and my commitment to social justice to my mum and the experiences she shared with me. My parents immigrated to England from Dublin in the 1950’s, the era of ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’. The youngest of five girls I needed to stick up for myself, but quickly learnt I could also stand up for my classmates and friends. I am a fiercely proud product of the city of Leicester and, like it, I celebrate all diversity and am committed to anti-racism.