Fred Jarvis

Labour Party Conference 2009

Frederick Frank Jarvis CBE (8 September 1924 – 15 June 2020) was a British trade union leader. He was President of the National Union of Students (NUS) from 1952 to 1954 and General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) from 1975 to 1989. Jarvis served as President of the Trades Union Congress in 1987, the first Oxford graduate to hold that position.

Early life and education

Jarvis was born in West Ham, at that time in Essex but now part of the London Borough of Newham, into a working class family. He retained his Cockney accent as an adult. As a child, he attended Plaistow Secondary School in what was then the County Borough of West Ham in Essex. His father worked in a flour mill. His mother believed in the importance of education for her sons. At the start of World War II, the family moved to Wallasey where he attended Wallasey Grammar School and joined the Progressive Youth Movement.

Later in the war, he joined the Army, taking part in the Normandy landings.

In 1947, he attended University of Liverpool for a Diploma in Social Sciences, and went on to obtain a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Catherine's College, Oxford. He married Anne Colegrove, herself a vice-president of the NUS, in 1954.

Political activity

In 1951, Jarvis fought the safely-Conservative seat of Wallasey on behalf of the Labour Party, and lost to the incumbent, Ernest Marples, by 15,705 votes.

Personal life

Jarvis was married to the former Anne Colegrove from 1954 to her death in 2007. They had two children.

Jarvis was a lifelong supporter of West Ham United Football Club.

A keen photographer, Jarvis had an exhibition of his work at the TUC Centre in 2010 in aid of the North London Hospice.

In 2014 he published his autobiography You Never Know Your Luck.

Jarvis was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours.

Jarvis died on 15 June 2020 at the age of 95.

Fred and Anne Jarvis Award

Named after Jarvis and his late wife, the Fred and Anne Jarvis Award was established in 2007 and presented annually by the NUT. Originally for individuals outside the NUT who have campaigned tirelessly for children and young people, in 2017 the award was given to a NUT member. From 2019 the award has been presented by the National Education Union, which has succeeded the NUT.

Winners include writers Robin Alexander, Melissa Benn, Alan Gibbons and Fiona Millar, former child prodigy Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, England international footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen and Nobel Peace prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.


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  2. ^ "NUT History - NUT General Secretaries". NUT. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Section 4, Details of past Congresses" (PDF). Trades Union Congress. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Obituary: Anne Jarvis". The Guardian. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Corbett, Anne (16 June 2020). "Fred Jarvis obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Wilby, Pete (1 July 2014). "Fred Jarvis: veteran NUT leader says union is too ready to resort to strikes". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Spirit is still flourishing". TSL Education Ltd. 31 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  8. ^ "NewVic students meet former teachers' leader and Plaistow pupil". Newham Sixth Form College. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Fred Jarvis, combative leader of the National Union of Teachers – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Former general secretary of the NUT Fred Jarvis holds exhibition at TUC". Newsquest (London) Ltd. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  11. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N9.
  12. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Memorial for Anne Jarvis at the Institute of Education" (PDF). Education Publishing Worldwide Limited. 21 September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2012.

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