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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.  


NAHT rejects government’s evidence to the STRB as inaccurate, misleading and incomplete

In our further evidence to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), NAHT has rejected the evidence on which the government bases its pay policy, which will deliver further real-term pay cuts to school leaders.  

Since 2010: 

  • Leaders' salaries have fallen in real terms by 15% against CPI
  • In today’s prices, that’s the equivalent of a pay cut from £48,363 to £42,195 for a leader on the minimum leadership pay point – the loss would be even greater for more experienced leaders at higher points of the scale.

The government’s plan is to uplift new entrant salaries (M1) by 8.9% in 2022/23 and 7.1% in 2023/24, but to reduce pay progression with lower rises for all other professionals, undermining the premium for experience and leadership.

For school leaders (and UPR teachers) the proposed uplift is 3% in 2022/23 and 2% in 2023/24.  

  • This means school leaders’ pay looks set to fall further in real terms. This could result in a 21% real-term pay cut to school leaders for the period 2010 to 2022/23 alone, and that’s assuming a 3% pay uplift from September 2022.
  • In today’s prices that would be the equivalent to a pay cut of £9,255 for a leader on the minimum leadership pay point – the loss would be even greater for more experienced leaders at higher points of the scale.



Find out more: read our supplementary evidence to the STRB.

Join the campaign: head to our pay campaign page, take action and make your voice count!


First published 28 March 2022