Home Menu

NAHT Northern Ireland

NAHT_NIidentity_RGB_LR 389.jpg

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 

School breaks and lunchtimes

More often than not, NAHT’s advice team produces regular advice and guidance to support school leaders to run their schools effectively. 

Occasionally, however, we produce a ‘thought piece’ to provoke some thinking among the school leader community on areas that are known to be of interest – in this case, school breaks and lunchtimes. 

School breaks and lunchtimes have become of greater interest to school leaders as they look to reconcile the need for pupils to take regular physical exercise and balance this with the need to improve academic standards and progress. 

The challenge for all school leaders is to achieve an appropriate balance between the quality of children’s play experiences and social interactions with other pupils and the need to maximise classroom time to improve pupils’ academic progress and achievements. 

This ‘thought piece’ contains a number of recommendations arising from the ‘School break and lunchtimes and young people’s social lives: a follow-up national study’, which we encourage members to consider in the design and development of their school’s offer and overall curriculum. We think you’ll find this a thought-provoking read. 

First published 26 August 2020

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