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Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Education: A leadership imperative

NAHT in partnership with ASCL, NGA and WomenEd released a new report exploring the gender pay gap in education on 1 December 2021.

The report, Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Education: A leadership imperative, is intended to inform debate and highlight areas where action may be needed to ensure that women leaders and educators are valued appropriately and equitably for the work that they do.

Key findings

  • Looking at the latest school workforce statistics, males earned on average 2.4% more at classroom teacher level, but 11.3% more (on average) than women head teachers. This difference between average salaries of men and women increases with age and seniority in roles. 
  • At head teacher level, across all types of state-funded schools, women tend to have steadier increases in salary by age, whereas men tend to see much larger increases, particularly towards the end of their career. The difference by age 60 and over reaches £17,334.
  • A similar pattern is seen at ‘other leadership’ levels, although the salary difference is not quite as pronounced. The divergence point is at age 35-39, with the difference between average salaries between men and women almost doubling from £2,760 at 35-39 to £4,024 at age 40-44.
  • In the limited number of cases where the average salary pay gap favours women, the difference tends to be far smaller. For example, the largest gap in favour of women in 2020/21 was £892 (classroom teachers in primary academies) and the largest gap in favour of men was £4,165 (for headteachers in special or PRU academies).
  • The report also outlines a series of recommendations including a call on government to act on the calls from the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) and the sector for a comprehensive review of the pay framework for both classroom teachers and leaders.

Download the report in full.

Read our press release on the report here

First published 01 December 2021

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NAHT Life gives you the opportunity to continue your membership of the biggest union for school leaders both in post and in retirement.


NAHT Life focuses on helping retired members receive excellent trade union services and allows you to continue to play an active volunteer role within NAHT regions and branches, if that’s what you choose to do!

Please note to qualify for the benefits of NAHT Life membership you must join NAHT life within six months of retiring. 

Please ensure NAHT has your correct post-retirement contact details.

NAHT is currently reviewing, renewing and refreshing its services to support NAHT life member.

The Life Members' Sector Council (LMSC)

Whether leaving a labour of love or embracing a life of leisure, there can be no doubt that retirement from school leadership marks a huge change in lifestyle. There will be adjustments to make, new challenges to take and a range of new opportunities. At a time like this, it is important that our experienced members do not lose all the support they received in their working life. Our life members’ committee is here to ensure members are supported in retirement.

This committee feeds its extensive wealth of experience and know-how to support the work of NAHT. It also gives our life members the chance to make important contributions to our campaigns for working members.  

The committee, which meets four times a year, is made up of one elected representative from each of our regions, with the addition of one place each for Northern Ireland and Wales. And these elected committee members, normally, serve a three-year term.

Areas of focus for the committee include the following: 

  • Current legislation issues eg pension provision
  • Action against discrimination, including age discrimination.
LMSC chair

John Killeen (National Executive member): john.killeen@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC vice-chair

Nigel Patton: nigel.patton@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC communications officer

Michael Wilson: Michael.wilson@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC deputy communications officer

Eugene Symonds: eugene.symonds@nahtofficials.org.uk

Committee servicing officer

Frances Geddes has the responsibility for working closely with the LMSC as servicing officer. She can be contacted via email frances.geddes@naht.org.uk.

For further details and contact information about all current LMSC members please check out ‘Who’s who’ and the ‘List of LMSC members'.

See also

Join now - Life Membership 
Life membership FAQs
Life members' sector council
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