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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.  


Pregnant workers and new mothers: risk assessment in the workplace

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently updated its guidance, following advice from the TUC, making it clear that employers must carry out individual risk assessments for pregnant workers and new mothers.

You can find the revised HSE guidance here.

The HSE’s guidance makes clear that employers have a legal responsibility to consider risks to pregnant women, new mothers and women of childbearing age in their general workplace risk assessments.

Once an employer is informed that a worker is pregnant, is breastfeeding, or has given birth within the last six months, the employer must carry out an individual risk assessment.


In carrying out the individual risk assessment an employer must:

  • review their existing general risk management and controls for pregnant workers and new mothers
  • talk to the worker to see if there are any conditions or circumstances with their pregnancy that could affect their work
  • discuss any concerns they have about how their work could affect their pregnancy
  • consult with their safety representative or trade union if they have one and
  • take account of any medical recommendations provided by their doctor or midwife.

The guidance also makes clear that employers should review the individual risk assessment as the pregnancy progresses, or if there are any significant changes to a workers' activity or workplace.

Employers are legally required to reduce or remove risks to a pregnant woman’s health. If this can’t be done, then the woman has a right to be offered suitable alternative work, on the same rate of pay, or to have her working conditions adjusted. If none of these measures are possible, she should be suspended on full pay, based on her usual earnings, until the risk is gone.

The HSE guidance now makes clear what pregnant workers’ and new mums’ health and safety rights are and what employers must do to protect them in the workplace.

First published 10 June 2022