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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.  


2019/2020 pay award announced for school leaders and teachers in England

This week, the School Teacher’s Review Body (STRB) released their 29th report setting out their recommendations for teachers and school leaders' pay for 2019/20. The STRB report notes that the evidence shows the teacher supply situation has continued to deteriorate, and this has affected teachers at all stages of their career.

As such, they have recommended a 2.75% uplift to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework.

The secretary of state, Damian Hinds, followed up the STRB's announcement with a written ministerial statement which confirmed that the government will be investing an additional £105 million into the existing teachers’ pay grant this financial year, to cover the increases above 2%.

Our response

While we are pleased that the STRB has again recognised the major recruitment and retention problems facing schools and recommended an above-inflation pay rise for all teachers and leaders, this recommendation falls short of the fully funded 5% increase that we have been calling for. We have also been clear that given the current funding crisis schools are facing, the pay award should be fully funded.

You can read our full response to the announcement here.

NAHT will now be consulted on the STRB report and the secretary of state’s response to the STRB report. As has happened for the last four years, the STRB report has been published extremely late in the academic year, leading to an unacceptably short timescale for statutory consultation on the government’s proposals and on the draft STPCD. We will again be emphasising the problems this causes and will seek a more reasonable timetable in future years.

As in previous years, we will be updating members with further advice and guidance, including recommended pay scales, later in the summer.

First published 23 July 2019

First published 23 July 2019