One in four teachers would opt to leave their union if they could benefit from other legal support, a poll suggests.
A survey of 6,900 teachers found that a quarter would prefer not to be a member of a union if alternative support was available in the event of employment disputes.
The poll, by the Teacher Tapp app, comes after the Telegraph revealed that Downing Street was studying plans to bolster the rights of non-union members in the workplace as part of a bid to reduce workers' reliance on unions for "vital protections".
During the summer, teaching unions were accused by MPs of “breathing fear into parents” that schools were “death traps” during the Covid-19 pandemic, all as ministers pushed to resume day-to-day education.
Overall, 26 per cent of respondents said they would prefer not to be a member of a union if there were alternative legal support available in the event of employment disputes or allegations against them.
They included 25 per cent of respondents who identified themselves as members of the National Education Union, which was formed in 2017 following the merger National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Meanwhile, just under half (48 per cent) of respondents said they were satisfied with their union's work, while 18 per cent believed that they would have the same pay and conditions if they were not a member of a union.
The poll was commissioned by Edapt, an independent firm that provides legal support to teachers.
Last year, Edapt set out the proposals to amend the Employment Relations Act to give workers a legal right to be accompanied to disciplinary meetings by an external figure other than a union representatives.
The plans are being weighed up by No 10.
The firm warns that, while all workers should have "equal employment rights under the law", the existing legislation fails to give non-union members the right to be accompanied to formal meetings by "reasonably qualified companions" such as a lawyer or representative of an organisation such as Edapt.
Edapt states that it saw a 10 per cent increase in total subscribers in August alone, with many switching from unions amid criticism of the bodies' handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
John Roberts, Edapt's chief executive, said: “These results show that there is a good deal of dissatisfaction amongst teachers about how they are being served by their union. The fact that one in four would prefer not to be in a union speaks volumes.
"The vast majority of teachers are a member of a union primarily for support in allegations and disciplinary and grievance processes.
“We would welcome any move to address the inequity in current legislation; this is very straightforwardly a question of fairness.
"Joining a union is a choice, but this choice should not affect a teacher’s employment law rights."