A SCIENCE lecturer has taken on the top job with the country’s biggest teaching union.
Mick Lyons, who lives in Washington, has been named as the next national president of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
The 60-year-old, one of the union’s longest-serving activists, was senior vice-president and took over from Paula Roe when it held its annual conference over Easter.
Mr Lyons, who is married to Jean, has been involved in union activities since he started teaching physics in the North East in the early 1980s.
He began his NASUWT career as treasurer in the region and oversaw the opening of the union’s first regional office.
Originally from York, he moved to the area in 1971 and has worked as a physics teacher at Belmont Community Arts College for more than 35 years.
Mr Lyons takes over the role at a turbulent time for the profession and will lead the union through the next phase of industrial action which the NASUWT and NUT recently committed to, including a series of strikes.
He said: “I am proud to have the opportunity to be at the forefront of teachers’ fight to protect their pay and conditions at a time of unprecedented assault on the profession.
“I am honoured to be taking on this important role and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
“The NASUWT is fighting to maintain a world-class education system, and I can think of no better cause to which to commit my time and energies.”
Chris Keates, general secretary of the union, said: “I warmly welcome Mick to the role of national president. Mick brings a history of commitment to the values of the NASUWT which are invaluable. As a teacher, he is well aware of the challenges facing the profession.”
Mr Lyons has served as a rugby referee and also as president of Durham County Rugby Football Union.