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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park


02890 776633 

NAHT letter to Nadhim Zahawi MP

Following comments made by Michael Fabricant MP in an interview with the BBC on 12th April 2022, the NAHT has contacted the Secretary of State concerning the matter. A full copy of the letter can be seen below:

Dear Nadhim,

I am writing regarding the comments made by your colleague, Michael Fabricant MP, as part of a BBC television interview on 12 April. 

During that interview, Mr Fabricant suggested that during the national lockdown, teachers and school staff "tended to go back to the staff room for a quiet drink" at the end of a day.

This suggestion is wholly inaccurate and deeply insulting to the teaching profession. I cannot overstate the hurt and anger these comments have caused. 

As you will already know, during the national lockdowns, school leaders followed government guidelines meticulously. In fact, you have praised them for doing so. In reality, this meant that most teachers kept to small 'bubbles' and were not able to interact with other staff members across the school, many had to eat lunch alone in their own classrooms. School leaders restricted access to their staff rooms, and in some cases closed them entirely. 

Throughout the pandemic, school leaders and other educational professionals have worked tirelessly to implement ever-changing government guidance and to keep all members of their community safe. They supported the most vulnerable, ensured that children were fed and effectively reinvented how education was delivered in a matter of weeks. The demands placed on them were enormous, as you know. 

These latest comments by Mr Fabricant have done enormous damage and are entirely unjustified. 

I assume that given your knowledge of what actually happened in schools during the national lockdowns, that you will be looking to set the record straight publicly and to address what is frankly a slur on the teaching profession. 

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter in due course. I have also written directly to Mr Fabricant asking him to substantiate these claims or to retract them immediately. I include a copy of that letter for your information. 

Yours sincerely,
Paul Whiteman
General Secretary, NAHT

First published 13 April 2022

NAHT Northern Ireland Events 2023

NAHT(NI) AGM and industrial action meeting

Our 2023 AGM and industrial action meeting takes place on Thursday 5 October 2023 – find out more





Recent consultations and other documents

NITC joint letter to management side

The five teacher unions in Northern Ireland, including NAHT(NI), wrote to the employers seeking additional payment to school leaders and teaching staff who worked significant additional hours during summer 2021 in order to ensure this work was recognised.


Consultation on deferring school starting age: NAHT(NI) draft response

We are concerned at the advancement of this proposal as the evidential basis for this consultation is highly limited. We contend that the current proposal should be retracted. The proposal fails to reflect the experience of pupils, school leaders, parents and the whole school community. Given the significance of this potential policy change, it is essential that the perspectives of all stakeholders are considered. We know that members are operating in a business-critical environment and will have limited or no time to engage with consultation exercises, however, we encourage members to consider responding to this important consultation and copy our response to complete your individual response.


Previous consultation responses and statements

First published 08 April 2020