Home Menu

Recruitment and retention

Pay and conditions icon.jpg

School leaders are driven by an ambition to provide opportunities for young people to reach their full potential. To fulfil that ambition, teaching must attract and retain a high-quality, well-trained and properly rewarded workforce. 

Through our work with members, NAHT is documenting and communicating the unfolding recruitment and retention crisis taking place in our schools to policymakers at the highest levels. 

NAHT is campaigning to:

Ensure all schools can recruit and retain excellent teachers and leaders

  • Lobby for change and reform of key macro issues affecting recruitment and retention: pay, accountability, funding and workload and identify key actions to be taken to improve these
  • Press for the development of a range of flexible leadership and non-leadership pathways to support recruitment and retention, including new opportunities that will retain the experience and expertise of mid to late career leaders
  • Build on the opportunities offered by the Early Career Framework to press for similar support for new heads, deputies and assistants, and school business leaders
  • Maintain a watching brief on the impact of Brexit on teacher supply
  • Lobby the DfE for practical measures to address the workload of school leaders, including protection of strategic leadership time
  • Campaign for a staged real term, restorative pay award for teachers and school leaders
  • Develop a position on the role of CEOs and other posts outside the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) including a position on which roles should have a requirement for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Lobby for a review of the pay system, including the STPCD
  • Press government to maintain and enhance the teacher's pension scheme and/or Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
  • Support work to ensure the profession represents a diverse workforce, including those with protected characteristics
  • Support effective partnerships between school leaders and governors with clarity of roles and responsibilities across different school structures.

Create a safe working environment for school leaders and their staff

  • Lobby the DfE to take concrete steps to tackle verbal and physical abuse and aggression against school staff, including harassment online and through social media.  

Ensure professional recognition of school business leaders (SBLs)

  • Lobby the DfE for SBLs to be included within a new national framework of terms and conditions for school staff
  • Promote the professional standards framework for all SBLs
  • Raise the profile and understanding of the SBL role across the school sector, including with governors.  


Well-being of senior leaders, teachers and support staff working in education in the UK is lower than that of the general population

Education Support have published their annual report investigating the mental health and well-being of senior leaders, teachers and support staff working in education in the UK.

The Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022 shows that all staff roles are reporting well-being scores lower than the general population – with stress, depression and anxiety all remaining unsustainably high. School support staff’s stress levels and depression have also increased, demonstrating a saturation of stress at all levels of the school workforce.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said:

“Sadly, these findings sound very familiar, and reflect what we are hearing from our members. Crushing workload and high-stakes accountability, burnout following the additional pressures during the pandemic, and salaries worth 24% less than they were a decade ago, have left many school leaders at breaking point. We know that more school leaders than ever before are considering leaving the profession – and fewer and fewer middle leaders are aspiring to headship. The people in front of our children have the biggest impact on learner outcomes. Strong leaders and skilled teachers make all the difference. But unless the government acts urgently to restore pay and make school leadership an attractive proposition for teaching professionals, the school leadership supply pipeline is going to run dry. The fact that leaders in particular are reporting high levels of stress and burnout should come as a real wake-up call to government.”

Read the Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022 report

First published 29 November 2022