Association of Ukrainian Teachers in Great Britain [Спілка Українських Вчителів у Великій Британії] – an association of current and former teachers of Ukrainian supplementary schools and nurseries; an autonomous organisation within the structure of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB).
The Association was founded in 1955 with the aim of supporting the network of schools and nurseries which were being formed at branches of the AUGB. Initially called the Association of Ukrainian Teachers and Educators (AUTE), in 2012 it was renamed the Association of Ukrainian Teachers (AUT).
In 1956 the AUTE had about 60 members, and by the end of the 1960s this number had risen to almost 250. Some had formal teaching qualifications, gained either before the Second World War or after arrival in the UK, but most were not professional teachers. In the late 1960s professional and non-professional teachers from among descendants of the post-war immigrants began to join the Association. In the mid-1980s the membership reached a peak of almost 280, although the majority of members were no longer teaching in schools. Subsequently, teachers from among the post-1991 immigrants from Ukraine began to join, and in 2019 they constituted the overwhelming majority of members, of which there were 127. The number of schools overseen by the AUTE rose to over 40 in the mid-1960s, before steadily declining. In the 2017-2018 school year there were five such schools, in Bradford, Coventry, London, Manchester and Nottingham.
The main focus of the Association’s work throughout its history has been on providing schools and nurseries, and their teachers, with advice, teaching resources and other support. This includes the organisation of courses, conferences and seminars for the training of teachers and exchanging views on best practice; the development, in the 1950s and 1960s, of a standard curriculum for schools; making regular inspection visits to schools and providing advice to teachers; and setting and conducting leavers’ examinations.
In the 1950s and 1960s the AUTE published several school textbooks and children’s reading books and, in 1963, a series of articles on teaching methodology, under the general heading Uchytelske Slovo, in the Ukrainska Dumka newspaper. In 1970 it published Narys metodyky vykladannia ukrainskoi movy, a methodological guide to Ukrainian language teaching written by Borys Shkandrij. From 1973 to 2005 an AUTE-edited page entitled Lohos appeared in Ukrainska Dumka on a monthly basis (with some interruptions), and after 2005 occasional articles on the activities of the organisation appeared in the newspaper.
In the late 1990s the AUTE introduced a new school curriculum, developed by Maria Sawdyk, aimed at the changing profile of the pupil population at the AUGB schools and taking into account advances in teaching methods. The Association has also published teaching materials compatible with the new curriculum: in 2014, a new textbook for older year groups (6-10) on the geography of Ukraine (Pochatkova heohrafiia Ukrainy) by Maria Sawdyk and Kateryna Tyshkul, and, in 2018, textbooks for year groups 2 and 3. Textbooks on the history of Ukraine and the history of Ukrainian literature are planned to be published in 2019.
AUT representatives continue to visit the schools, albeit in a less formal manner than previously, and to set and conduct the leavers’ examinations. In 2012 the Association concluded an agreement with the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv on the accreditation of the AUT’s teaching curriculum by the UCU, and the joint issuing of leavers’ certificates, which has enhanced the prestige of the certificate. Since the early 2000s the Association has also approached various UK institutions with regard to the possibility of reinstating the Ukrainian examination which was available in 1954-1997 as part of the UK’s basic secondary education qualification (GCE ‘O’ Level, subsequently GCSE), or introducing a suitable alternative, but so far without success.
From 1968 to the late 1980s the AUTE maintained ties with similar bodies in other countries of the Ukrainian diaspora, through the Educational Coordinating Council of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians (now the Ukrainian World Congress). In recent years it has established contacts with educational bodies in Ukraine, and its representatives have attended international conferences on educational matters which have taken place in Ukraine.
The AUTE/AUT has been chaired by: Alexander Moncibowycz (1955-1956), Ilarion Holubowycz (1956-1959), Ivan Martschenko (1959-1968), Borys Shkandrij (1968-1972), Bohdan Martschenko (1972-1978, 1980-1996), Klym Rosneckyj (1978-1980), Bohdan Sweryt (1996-2001), Gina Mandzij (2001-2009, 2012-2017), Jaroslaw Wasyluk (2009-2012), Inna Hryhorovych (2017- ).
Marchenko, I., ‘5 rokiv SUUV’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 25 August 1960, pp. 3-4
Reviliak, M., ‘Ukrainske shkilnytstvo u V. Brytanii’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 25 January 1968, p. 6
Rosneckyj, K., Bilynskyi, M., Bakhmat, M., ‘Spilka Ukrainskykh Uchyteliv i Vykhovnykiv (Do XXV richnykh zahalnykh zboriv Spilky), Ukrainska Dumka (London), 19 July 1979, p. 4
Marchenko, B., Bilynskyi, M., ‘Velykobritaniia [zvit pro pratsiu Spilky Ukrainskykh Uchyteliv i Vykhovnykiv], in Druhyi Svitovyi Kongres Vilnykh Ukraintsiv: Materiialy (Toronto – New York – London, 1986, pp. 126-129
Mandzij, G., ‘Spilka Ukrainskykh Uchyteliv i Vykhovnykiv (Sektsiia SUB): Zvit diialnosty za 2006-2009 roky’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 25 September 2010, p. 4
Hryhorovych, I., ‘Zvit diialnosti Spilky Ukrainskykh Vchyteliv u Velykii Brytanii (SUV) za period zhovten 2017 – traven 2018 rokiv’, in Soiuz Ukraintsiv u Velykii Brytanii (SUB): Zvit diialnosti 2017, ed. by L. Pekarska and F. Kurlak (London, 2018), pp. 78-79