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Equality diversity and inclusion

NAHT’s EDI Strategy 2024-2025

NAHT is dedicated to promoting equality for all of its members, and this commitment is enshrined in NAHT’s constitution. In order to support NAHT in achieving this commitment, we have a union-wide strategy that outlines how we embed equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of our activities.

NAHT’s work in this area, including the progress of our strategy, is overseen by NAHT’s National Executive (via our Diversity and Inclusion Group).

This strategy is centred around three main aspects; these are underpinned by the work NAHT does to empower, upskill and support NAHT staff.

  1. Supporting our members as leaders: As school leaders, NAHT members are ideally positioned to create inclusive learning and working environments for all of their pupils and staff - one which welcomes diversity and champions equality. NAHT recognises the need to support and empower our members to effectively achieve this.

    To achieve this, we have the following core objectives:
  1. Increase our support for members to effectively embed EDI within their own settings. This includes work to:
    1. Maintain our resources hub & develop our own advice and guidance as appropriate
    2. Support members to mark key EDI dates throughout the year (e.g., LGBT+ History month)
    3. Run three free EDI webinars for members, alongside paid EDI training and courses for members
  2. Ensure our campaigning and policy work (in relation to pupils and school staff) explicitly considers and includes equality to achieve our aim of embedding EDI throughout the education system.
    1. Areas of policy focus may include: RSE implementation and/or review, transgender pupil policy for schools, SEND/ALN/SEN sector (including funding and support), refugee pupils, accessibility in assessments and exams, inclusive curriculum and pupil mental health/well-being.
  1. Supporting our members as individuals: We know members with certain protected characteristics face additional and/or specific challenges in their roles. As a trade union, our core purpose is protecting our members, whether proactively (for example, campaigning to remove systemic inequities in the system), or reactively (such as aiding members who are experiencing issues in their workplace, through our representation and/or legal teams).

    To achieve this, we have the following core objectives:
  1. Increase our ability to effectively represent and negotiate on behalf of all members and press forward on wider equality gains in the system. This includes work to:
    1. Increase the training and support for our paid and lay officials to support them in tackling discrimination in their line of work
    2. Improve our monitoring of cases to tackle discrimination in the workplace, and any equality gains achieved as a result
  2. Continue to extend our insight into the challenges faced by school leaders or future school leaders with protected characteristics. This includes work to:
    1. Increase the growth and profile of our equality networks, and explore the need for any further networks
    2. Ensure all key NAHT research (focused on members as individuals) includes demographic questions, and that data analysis is considered from this perspective
  3. Ensure our campaigning and policy influencing explicitly includes equality (in relation to our members) to achieve our aim of embedding EDI throughout the education system
    1. Areas of policy focus may include gender pay gaps, representation within leadership (including renewal of government funding to support this), EDI training in NPQs, flexible working, reasonable adjustments in schools and during inspections, workload and well-being, and mandatory anti-racism training. 
  4. Increase our international presence in relation to EDI issues, recognising that much of the equality legislation and rights of members comes not just from domestic law and conventions, but are part of wider international agreements.
  1. As a democratic organisation: NAHT recognises that we are most effective in representing the views and needs of school leaders when we engage with all of our membership. We are therefore committed to ensuring our own democratic structures are inclusive and reflect the diversity of the educational professionals and learners that we serve.

    To achieve this, we have the following core objectives:
  1. Increase the amount of demographic data we hold in relation to our members and improve our analysis of this data
  2. Increase representation within NAHT’s democratic structures
  3. Continue to empower and upskill our lay officials around EDI issues. This includes work to:
    1. Launch a new regional equality rep pilot
  4. Increase the inclusivity and accessibility of NAHT’s communications
  5. Continue to increase representation in NAHT communications & events. This includes work to
    1. Increase the diversity of members representing NAHT, providing training as appropriate
    2. Development of an EDI comms plan for 2024 and 2025
  6. Increase the inclusivity and accessibility of NAHT’s events. This includes work to:
    1. Develop an online (and hybrid) accessibility policy to support member engagement at online events, guided by input from our Disabled Members' Network
    2. Develop an accessibility policy to support member engagement at in-person events, guided by input from our Disabled Members' Network
  7. Ensure that our policies, processes and/or practices enhance both democratic and general NAHT engagement for all NAHT members and reflect our wider EDI goals/values. This includes work to:
    1. Keep our democratic processes and procedures under regular review, with consideration of EDI as part of any updates and amends

NAHT’s equality networks

NAHT has three informal equality networks for members. These are led by members, for members.

Find out more about our networks, including how to join and planned meetings, by clicking on the links below. 

NAHT's EDI statements

Following a resolution at NAHT Annual Conference, we are developing a series of policy statements outlining NAHT’s views and commitments around equality, diversity and inclusion. These have been developed in conversations with NAHT’s equality networks, our diversity and inclusion group, and our national executive.

Click below to see our EDI statements:

Statements will continue to be reviewed and additional statements may be developed, as led by our membership.

Our statement of action and commitments on EDI in education for 2023/24

In September 2023, NAHT, alongside other key organisations working in the sector, outlined its new actions and commitments to help further equality, diversity and inclusion in education. Find out more and read our statement of action and commitments on EDI in education for 2023/24.


Advice and support

For more about the advice and guidance available from NAHT, along with resources to support members with EDI in their schools, see our EDI hub page.

TUC equality conferences

Every year, the TUC hosts a series of equality conferences that supplement the general work of TUC Congress. These conferences focus on supporting the advancement of issues that disproportionally impact minority groups. Find out more and how NAHT members can get involved.

Latest news and advice

Equality should never be ‘too uncomfortable’ for schools to discuss, says leading campaigner

Today (Thu 16 Sept) school leaders’ union NAHT holds its first equalities conference, hosted by award-winning equalities campaigner and former deputy head teacher Shaun Dellenty.

Opening the conference, Mr Dellenty will say: “Full equality in schools has to be the goal, but too often school leaders lack the time, resources, training or confidence to eliminate discrimination and reduce inequalities.”

Under the title “Leading Through Allyship”, the NAHT’s virtual event is an opportunity for everyone in education, no matter what their background, to explore how they can play their part in leading and promoting the equalities, diversity and inclusion agenda in schools.

The event will explore a range of areas including the importance of considering inter-sectionality, ways leaders can support staff with disabilities, advice on being an anti-racist ally and how to support increased diversity in leadership, with expert speakers and school leaders heading discussions and workshops.

Mr Dellenty continued: “Discussions around issues such as sexuality, race, gender identity and extremism can often be perceived as too uncomfortable. Sadly, some education professionals fail to identify and reduce the impact of their own biases and those of others in the school community. Equality in schools could take years without government investment in training for Early Career Teachers and all school-based professionals, in addition to the provision of appropriate time and resources.

“School leaders can make this happen much sooner, but they can’t do it alone. The fact things aren’t changing more quickly demonstrates that fact. A ‘whole school approach’ is the right way to go, creating an inclusive environment for everyone working and learning at every school. This should be done strategically, and should be a shared responsibility of everyone in the school community from pupils, to parents, to staff and governors.”

“It is a privilege to be chairing NAHT’s first equalities conference. Campaigns around gender, racism and the environment inspire many young people to become changemakers, however we still have a long way to go to before all schools are truly safe, representative, equitable and inclusive. Every school should be a place that allows staff and young people to be their authentic selves, free from bias, prejudice and discrimination in order to nurture successful learning, healthy lives and respectful relationships.

“Schools must prepare young people for living and working in a diverse world. There is some fantastic existing practice and NAHT supports this by offering a range of resources and relevant training. Union support is also available when challenges arise, as sometimes can be the case. With the impact of Covid-19, a rise in online hate speech and extremism, and the new Relationships, Sex and Health curriculum, equalities and diversity must be a high priority for all schools.

“For the safety, well-being and education of our young people, all educators must be courageous in forging a strategic commitment to equality and inclusion.”

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman, who will also be speaking at the conference, will say: “This is a big moment for NAHT and an important one in the mission to empower school leaders and their staff to promote an inclusive culture where they work. We know that discrimination and inequality continues to exist and that we still have a great deal to do to champion LGBT+ rights, race and gender equality and disability rights. It matters for the health and well-being of our members, the staff in their schools and for the pupils and communities that they serve.

“We don’t want school leaders and teachers to be afraid to discuss their sexuality. Shaun Dellenty has been an inspiration to so many people striving to be their authentic selves in the workplace. We’re delighted to have him as our host today.

“We know that our profession is not yet representative of the communities we serve, and that this is a particular issue at senior leadership level. We’ve also been able to lend NAHT’s support to amplify our Black, Asian and minority ethnic members’ voices. It shouldn’t take bravery to be yourself or to stand up for your rights, but unfortunately, that is still the case sometimes. This can have a serious impact on the mental health and happiness of school staff as well as pupils. Today’s conference is an opportunity for school leaders to discover more about how they can uplift colleagues and learners alike, no matter what their own background.”

Among the workshop facilitators is Ruhaina Alford, Executive Head teacher of The Carey Federation in Devon and a member of the NAHT Leaders for Race Equality group. Ruhaina is among the NAHT school leaders who shared their experiences in the recently published book “You Are Not Alone.” She delivers training on equality and unconscious bias to head teachers in the South West.


  • In 2009, Shaun Dellenty became one of the first UK primary school leaders to come out in the national and international media as gay. He founded the award-winning ‘Inclusion for All’ anti LGBT+ bullying strategy and is the author of “Celebrating Difference - A Whole School Approach to LGBT+ Inclusion” (Bloomsbury). In 2016 he was honoured by Prime Minister Cameron for services to education and LGBT+ communities. In 2021 Shaun was named in The Guardian’s Top 20 global Diversity Figures in Public Life and bestowed with the Freedom of London. Shaun is currently Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Leighton Park School in Reading.

Keynote speakers:

  • In a keynote speech Sophie Williams, author of “Who am I?”. Sophie will be exploring the question “What is allyship?”.
  • The second keynote speaker Hannah Wilson of Diverse Educators will be talking on the subject of supporting female leadership in education and addressing the gender pay gap.

Other workshops:

  • “Intersectionality: what is it and why is it important?” with Shani Dhanda, multi-award-winning disability specialist and entrepreneur.
  • “School workforce disability issues, neurodiversity and reasonable adjustments” with Ruth Golding, a senior leader in the South West, founder of @DisabilityEdUK, and a national leader of @WomenEdEngland.
  • “Trans awareness: Top tips” with Simon Croft, Director of Professional and Educational Services, Gendered Intelligence, a registered charity that works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans people.


  • Serdar Ferit, Co-CEO of Lyfta will give presentation on weaving diversity and inclusion into the curriculum through powerful human stories.

NAHT members and non-members can book tickets via https://naht.org.uk/equalities.

First published 16 September 2021