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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 NI responds to PISA study

Responding to the OECD's latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results, Dr Graham Gault, national secretary at school leaders' union NAHT NI, said:

“The pandemic has undoubtedly had some impact on these results. But after a decade in which investment in our schools has been nowhere near what is needed and they are struggling with a growing recruitment and retention crisis, it is notable that the OECD also highlights the effect of other underlying issues facing education systems. The dedication of schools in helping pupils through this difficult time and its aftermath hasn’t been matched by the level of government ambition or investment required.

“The significantly below average level of life satisfaction reported by children in Northern Ireland is also of real concern. This reflects worries that school leaders have been expressing increasingly in recent years, and represents an issue that must be taken very seriously by government and the wider education system.

“While international comparisons can be interesting and useful, we have to be very careful not to over-interpret these results. The value in studies like PISA are the questions they raise for policy-makers, but rankings or league tables are unhelpful and can be misleading if we’re not careful. We of course should be keen to learn from other nations - that requires a deep understanding of different systems and not just simplistic comparisons. We also need to factor in that different nations will be at different stages of education policy development, and that can influence the results too.

"It is important that politicians and policy makers remain inquisitive about these results, rather than using them for political ends.”  

First published 05 December 2023

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