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The Jamaica Teachers' Association came into being on April 2, 1964 when the instruments governing the membership and procedures of the body were examined and ratified at the inaugural conference held on that date. The resolutions constituting the Association were passed at a special conference at Excelsior High School auditorium on December 14, 1963.

The Association was formed from the merger of five teachers associations that existed at the time, namely:

  • Jamaica Union of Teachers (JUT)
  • Association of Headmasters and Headmistresses (H2 H2)
  • Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions (ATTI)
  • The Association of Teacher Training Staffs (ATTS)
  • The Association of Assistant Masters and Mistresses (A2 M2).

The Associations pursued parallel and separate objectives until the late 1950's when proposals to unify began to take shape. Jamaica's attainment of self-government in 1957; the introduction of the free place system and the draft bill to regulate the education system provided greater impetus for unity. Consequently the executives of the five groups formed the Joint Executives of Teachers' Associations (JETA) in 1957. It was mandated to make representation on matters related to education and teachers. It was in pursuance of this mandate that the groups eventually decided to unify into a single teacher's organization, the Jamaica Teachers' Association.