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Rob Devey
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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

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School leaders vote to accept 6.5% pay deal, even as mandate for strike action is secured

Today (Mon 31st July), school leaders’ union NAHT announces that its members – school leaders in the majority of schools in England – have voted to accept the government’s offer of a 6.5% pay increase for teachers and leaders, alongside a reduction in workload and changes to inspection.

In an online ballot, run between 17th and 28th July, 85% of respondents voted to accept the offer.

However, the union has also secured a mandate for strike action. In a postal ballot that opened 15th May and closed today, NAHT received an 82% vote to strike, with a 54% turnout.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “Our ballot results today clearly show the strength of feeling within the education profession that action is urgently needed. School leaders are reasonable people, and striking is very much a last resort, but our members have felt compelled to vote for action by a government that simply wasn’t listening.

“Fortunately, the actions of our members and the members of other education unions have forced the government to finally hear the profession’s concerns, and to make an offer that our members can live with. As a result, the prospect of co-ordinated strike action next term is no longer necessary.

“Although the pay and funding offered by the government is not everything our members asked for, it is the largest ever recommendation from the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), and the additional funding and hardship fund provided by the government to fund the pay award makes the deal workable. We will continue to negotiate on the workload and wellbeing aspects of the government’s offer.”

First published 31 July 2023