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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.  


Unpicking barriers to pay equality

At the end of 2021, NAHT launched a joint report Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Education: A leadership imperative. This report found that despite the existence of a broad national pay framework, men typically earn more than women regardless of school phase or structure – the more senior the position, the wider the gulf becomes. 

Due to the limited published data, it wasn’t possible to explore other factors, such as ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, which may also impact on salary equity, although we know from other research that people with disabilities or those from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds can face additional pay penalties.

NAHT would like to use the findings and recommendations from the report to form the basis of a  virtual member roundtable, sharing experiences and unpicking what is needed to ensure that school leadership (and the journey to it) is valued appropriately and everyone is paid equitably for the work they do.

If you are an NAHT member and would like to take part in this session (see details below), please email policy@naht.org.uk.

Unpicking barriers to pay equality roundtable

  • Tuesday 1 February 2022 (10am-11.30am): Equal pay – gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+
First published 07 January 2022