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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.  


Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Education: A leadership imperative

NAHT in partnership with ASCL, NGA and WomenEd released a new report exploring the gender pay gap in education on 1 December 2021.

The report, Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Education: A leadership imperative, is intended to inform debate and highlight areas where action may be needed to ensure that women leaders and educators are valued appropriately and equitably for the work that they do.

Key findings

  • Looking at the latest school workforce statistics, males earned on average 2.4% more at classroom teacher level, but 11.3% more (on average) than women head teachers. This difference between average salaries of men and women increases with age and seniority in roles. 
  • At head teacher level, across all types of state-funded schools, women tend to have steadier increases in salary by age, whereas men tend to see much larger increases, particularly towards the end of their career. The difference by age 60 and over reaches £17,334.
  • A similar pattern is seen at ‘other leadership’ levels, although the salary difference is not quite as pronounced. The divergence point is at age 35-39, with the difference between average salaries between men and women almost doubling from £2,760 at 35-39 to £4,024 at age 40-44.
  • In the limited number of cases where the average salary pay gap favours women, the difference tends to be far smaller. For example, the largest gap in favour of women in 2020/21 was £892 (classroom teachers in primary academies) and the largest gap in favour of men was £4,165 (for headteachers in special or PRU academies).
  • The report also outlines a series of recommendations including a call on government to act on the calls from the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) and the sector for a comprehensive review of the pay framework for both classroom teachers and leaders.

Download the report in full.

Read our press release on the report here

First published 01 December 2021