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.  


NAHT calls for delay to proposals in the ITT ‘market review’

Shortly before the end of the school year, the government set out radical proposals for major structural reform to the system of initial teacher training (ITT) in England.

The short timeframe set by the government meant that there was insufficient time for NAHT and sister unions to our consult members. As a result, many school leaders and teachers remain in the dark about the proposals.

The ITT 'market review' proposes to redesign the architecture of teacher training through a system of 'accredited providers' and 'delivery partners'. It would also introduce a system-wide core responsibility for ITT for schools, include 'intensive training' placements in approved schools and require significantly increased responsibility and time commitment from school-based mentors. Central to the plans are a homogeneous approach to the ITT curriculum, its delivery and assessment.

The reaction from the ITT sector has been broadly negative. A number of world-leading institutions including Oxford, Cambridge and UCL have indicated that they may withdraw from initial teacher training if the plans are implemented. Moreover, smaller more localised school-based ITT providers that serve areas not reached by traditional providers have also indicated that they may no longer be able to operate.

During August NAHT responded to the consultation. You can read our response here. We urged the government to halt its plans and to consult fully with the school sector, noting that no case had been made to evidence the need for such far-reaching change. We explained that school leaders and their teams have more immediate challenges and priorities, meaning they lack capacity to support new teacher training responsibilities, or the burdens associated with the proposed changes to mentoring. We were clear that the implementation timetable is unworkable and risks damaging the supply of training places.

NAHT believes that it is essential that the case for change is critically examined. We remain to be convinced of the need for revolutionary change and believe that providers are well placed to deliver further improvement in an already well-performing system. NAHT believes it is crucial that government secure the support of the profession before proceeding with its plans. We are continuing to engage with officials to press that school leaders are fully and properly consulted.

Read our consultation response.

First published 21 September 2021