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NAHT, NGA and ASCL joint statement on school leader workload from test and trace system support

"School leaders supported by their governing boards have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of pupils, staff and the wider community.

The rising number of covid cases seen in recent weeks, has further increased the significant burden placed on school leaders by their role in implementing the national test and trace system at school level (including receiving test results, seeking public health advice, notifying those needing to self-isolate). In many cases this has resulted in them working in the evening, at weekends and during the school holidays.

ASCL, NAHT and NGA remain committed to supporting the wellbeing and welfare of our school leaders during this challenging period and beyond. We will continue to work closely together and raise concerns with the Department for Education over the sustainability of the test and trace role and the impact it has on well-being.

Governing boards also have significant, statutory responsibilities to support the well-being of those employed in their schools and trusts. We encourage them to maintain a dialogue with their senior executive leader over what can be done to limit unnecessary stress, challenge excessive working hours and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This may result in opportunities for the school leaders to receive 'time off in lieu' where they have had to spend evenings, weekends and holidays implementing the national test and trace system at school level.

The last few months have strengthened the relationships between most senior leaders and their boards: each appreciating the other's role and the effort and care with which it is carried out. We should build on this by rejecting a culture that normalises overwork and excessive working hours, but instead create one that demonstrates an overriding concern for the well-being of the school community."


First published 23 June 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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Tax relief
Pensions advice
Who's who