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How we work

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NAHT is democratically shaped and directed by its members.

We speak for school leaders working at every education phase, from early years and primary to secondary, academies and independent schools. And we represent school business leaders and those with responsibility for children with special needs.

We make sure your voice is heard, understood and a catalyst for change in education and at the highest levels of government. 

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Whenever our members need help in the workplace, our trusted officials (commonly known as union reps) will respond quickly and courteously to provide them with the best-quality advice.

They will negotiate and take action on our members’ behalf to give them peace of mind. And they provide our members with the emotional and professional strength to deal with a variety of situations.

Our regional officers support officials, and our officials connect to their local branch. Explore what the role involves and how you could become a champion for your profession.


We know our collective voice brings about real change, so we encourage members to work together and support each other. At a local level, we achieve this through our professional community. We have branches in all regions of England (normally centralised around local authority areas), Wales and Northern Ireland.

They combine knowledge and expertise to tackle and campaign around issues affecting school leaders and learners. They bring local members’ calls for change to our national arena: our annual conference and AGM (for more information about our annual event, see below). And they nominate members to hold office in NAHT as part of the national executive, as national officers or even as general secretary.

Throughout the year, they also provide opportunities for members to network and learn from like-minded colleagues at branch meetings. Find out more about our branches and become an activist.


Our 12 regions help us to see the bigger picture and coordinate our efforts on the ground. They ensure members get the best service locally and nationally by assisting branches, building capacity at a local level and providing us with insights on where we should focus our attention.

They amplify the voice of the activists, and so are an important cog for communication both up from the grassroots and down from annual conference and national executive.

Similar to branches, they too can nominate members to hold office in NAHT as national officers or even as general secretary. Discover the nearest region to you.

Regional officers

Our regional officers are here to represent and negotiate on our members’ behalf through challenging times when they need extra help and support. If your job is at risk, we’ll allocate your case to one of our team.

While their role is predominantly casework driven, regional officers also provide branches and regions with the tools to build strong campaigns, negotiate with employers and secure the best deal for members.

National executive

Our national executive is the governing body and managerial authority of NAHT that oversees the policy direction we take in between our annual conference and AGM each year. It does this by setting strategic targets to bring about real change for our members, and it reviews our work at regular meetings.

It is made up of regional and education sector representatives to ensure there’s a champion for each type of member we serve. Each committee official is an active NAHT member who is subject to election every three years. Take a look at who represents you on our national executive.

National officers

The national officers are the figureheads that sit at the top of our democratic structure. Elected by our members to speak on their behalf, national officers work with government representatives and leaders from other organisations to resolve the working conditions and education issues school leaders face.

They hold greater accountability for our work and decide how best we can achieve what our members need. We have five national officers: the president, vice president, immediate past president, treasurer and general secretary. 

The presidential cycle sees elected members move up in office each year, from vice president to president and finally to immediate past president. Learn more about our leadership team and what the national officers do.

Annual conference and AGM

The annual event serves as NAHT’s sovereign decision-making forum. Hundreds of delegates representing our members from all sectors and regions join us to decide how we will operate for the next year. Motions raised and passed by delegates at conference become our policy.

Branches elect delegates proportionately according to their size, and each region sends two delegates. We encourage our members to join us and observe the debate.

The event also marks the introduction of a new NAHT president, a chance for any changes to our constitution and rules to be agreed, and an opportunity to decide on the internal running of NAHT (eg subscription rates, members’ services and how we support regions and branches). Discover more about our next annual conference and AGM.

Committees and sector councils

Our committees and sector councils support particular areas of our work to strengthen the voice of membership and the connections between the different levels of our structure in terms of decision-making, representation and delivery. They offer many opportunities for members to shape our policy, share their experiences and learn from the leading thinkers in their field.

Our sector councils represent early years, primary, secondary, special, school business leaders, and deputy and assistant heads. We also have committees that represent sectors, such as life members, and on particular subjects, such as international work and the work of the devolved nations. See what’s next for our committees and sector councils.  

Join us

Join our community today and we will speak up for you. You’ll be in great company: 98 per cent of our members say they’re satisfied with their membership.