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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 

Department of Education ‘unhealthily distant from reality’ says NAHT NI President

Today (Wed 12 May), members of NAHT NI, the union for school leaders in Northern Ireland, gather for a virtual AGM.

NAHT NI President Graham Gault will address delegates. In his speech, he will criticise the approach of policy-makers in Northern Ireland, whilst praising the response of school leaders operating in unprecedented times.

He will say: “Overnight, you all recreated your entire school provision, with very questionable guidance and support from where you should have expected it. When guidance did come, it was ambiguous and contradictory and, in many cases, unrealistic. In NAHT, we were very disappointed at the lack of genuine consultation and the last-minute nature of announcements, often through social media feeds.

“We have made it clear that the Department of Education is unhealthily distant from the reality of frontline education provision, and all bodies now recognise that there is a need to redress the schism that exists between the DE and school leadership.”

Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary will also address the AGM. In his speech he will say: “The bravery and dedication of school leaders and their teams has seen education through what we hope will be the worst of the pandemic. Thank you to all in the profession for your support to the children and communities you serve. For me, being able to give voice to that dedication is an honour.

“Across the political spectrum there is agreement that more needs to be done to support children. There is agreement that this will take extra time and extra resources. It is now absolutely essential that the Stormont government increases school funding overall, puts forward credible plans for education recovery, and supports school leaders and their teams to deliver it.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk

First published 12 May 2021

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