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Recruitment and retention

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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.  


Government confirms plans to remove age discrimination from the LGPS

The government has responded to its 2020 consultation on proposals to remove age discrimination from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

To ensure the LGPS underpin applies fairly between different types of member, the government is expanding the qualifying criteria to members, including those who had career breaks, as follows: 

  • were an active member of the LGPS or another public service pension scheme on or before 31 March 2012
  • were an active member of the career average scheme
  • did not have a disqualifying gap in service (more than five years), and
  • leave active membership with a deferred or immediate entitlement to a pension, or they die in service.


When the LGPS changed from a final salary to a career average pension scheme in 2014, members who were within 10 years of their Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012 were given protection from the changes. This ‘transitional protection’ was challenged and, in 2018 the Court of Appeal held, in the case known as ‘McCloud’, that the arrangements gave rise to unlawful discrimination in those schemes. 
The government committed to removing the discrimination from all public sector pension schemes. In the LGPS, the government has confirmed that this is being done by extending the underpin that protects older workers to all LGPS members who meet certain qualifying conditions.

What does this mean for members?

Members do not need to do anything at this stage. The scheme administrator will compare members’ benefits over the ‘affected’ period and if a member’s pension would have been higher in the final salary scheme, an automatic addition would be payable to make up the shortfall.


First published 10 May 2023