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Workload and well-being

The issue

Crushing workload, driven by high stakes accountability measures, funding pressures, spiralling pupil need caused by poverty and the disintegration of the social, health and care services that schools need access to are driving a mental health and well-being crisis among school leaders and their staff.  This further undermines leadership aspiration and retention, exacerbating the leadership supply crisis.  Almost a third of school leaders (31%) appointed aged under 50 leave their post within five years, more than half (53%) of whom quit teaching in state funded schools.   

What we want to see

To relieve the immediate pressures NAHT is campaigning for: 

  • the removal of performance related pay progression 
  • a statement on reasonably expected working hours for school leaders 
  • protected leadership time for school leaders. 


NAHT is pressing for:  

  • an immediate reduction in workload associated with high stakes accountability and performance measures, and reform of the way schools are inspected 
  • a set of tangible actions to reduce working hours by five hours a week through the DfE's Workload Taskforce (of which NAHT is a current member) 
  • better cross-departmental accountability to ensure that any future initiatives are fully assessed for their impact on the workload of teachers and school leaders, and their impact on retention 
  • a reduction in direct contact by DfE with schools – including careful assessment of whether new guidance, ‘expectations’, or statutory requirements are needed; and whether they are clear, of appropriate quality, and issued in a timely manner.  Any such developments should be developed through full and genuine engagement with the teaching and leadership unions.

Get involved

You can help to make a difference in your local area by making your voice heard within your local authority and with your local MP. 

Below, we have provided resources to help you get involved in the campaign. Get together with other members from your branch or region to take action.

Write a letter to your MP by downloading our guide and template

Hold a roundtable discussion with your MP using our guide and template

Use our powerpoint to tell colleagues and peers about NAHT's workload and well-being campaign and our priorities for 2024 slide deck

Download our 'Safe, kind and inclusive' school poster

Download our 'No Excuse for Abuse' school poster