General Secretary, NASUWT
Chris Keates graduated in Archaeology and History from Leicester University in 1970.
She gained her Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Birmingham University and taught History and Humanities in Birmingham secondary schools from 1971 to 1994.
Chris held head of department and senior leadership roles before becoming an advisory teacher in the Birmingham Local Authority Central Support Services.
Chris has been active in the trade union movement all her working life and held a number of lay activist roles at local, regional and national level within the NASUWT.
In 1998 Chris joined the staff of the NASUWT in a senior role with responsibility for policy co-ordination and development.
In 2001 she was appointed as NASUWT Deputy General Secretary.
In October 2004 she was elected as the Union’s first woman General Secretary. Chris stood for re-election in 2009 and in 2014, and on each occasion has been re-elected unopposed by the membership.
During Chris’s time as General Secretary, the NASUWT has become the largest teachers’ union operating across the UK, representing teachers and school leaders in all sectors. The NASUWT is one of the ten largest unions in the TUC and Chris is a member of the TUC Executive and General Council.
Chris has held a range of education-related roles, including chair of governors, and membership of a number of national working parties, advisory and expert groups. She works with a range of organisations on issues relating to education, children and young people and workforce matters. She is currently a UK Commissioner on a Centre for American Progress joint USA/UK project on securing inclusive prosperity.