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NAHT life members' newsletter - March 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of our NAHT Life members' newsletter compiled by the National Life members' committee. We were very encouraged by the responses to the first two editions last year in terms of both comments received and also the opening rate of over 50%, which is far greater than other communications sent from HQ!

As ever, we are really keen to include articles from a wide range of sources including Life members still active in various NAHT roles around the country, but also those who are doing other things which they would be willing to share. If you are interested in contributing either articles or suggestions for articles please contact Mike Wilson our Communications and Development Officer

As the world of education continues to be as chaotic as ever with policy decisions which sometimes make you wonder what planet the decision-makers are on, it seems to me more important than ever that we strengthen the supporting role that all NAHT members can play locally for those who wish to stay involved.

Our landing page on the new NAHT website contains contact details of Life member colleagues you can get in touch with for more information as well as providing other information you might find useful. Of course, you can also follow us on Twitter @NahtLifeMembers.

As ever, a big thank you to those who have kindly contributed to this newsletter. Happy reading and we welcome your feedback!

Best wishes,

Steve Iredale   

NLMC Chair


Member representation on the National Executive - Life Members

For well over a year the NLMC have been working with NAHT colleagues building a case for Life Members to have direct representation on the NAHT National Executive.

Currently we report to the NEC through the Membership Services Committee which has to date served our purpose well. However, as the number of Life Members continues to grow we see this as a natural step forward particularly as there are now nearly 14,000 of us!

We see this as a real opportunity to represent the interests of Life Members on the national stage but also as an opportunity to support the work of the NEC and serving school leaders bringing many years of experience to the table.

We were therefore very pleased that at the NEC earlier this month, it was agreed that a two year pilot would commence from June this year with one member of the NLMC being invited to join the NEC. The invitation is in effect a way of enabling the pilot to run without any need for constitutional change, at least until the pilot has been concluded.

Clearly there is work to be done in terms of agreeing terms of reference, what success will look like and reporting mechanisms to the NLMC.

One of our specific aims will be to review the current offer to Life Members and consider what might be done in the future to enhance this.

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary commented.

“Working lives are changing and with that change our expectations of the institutions we rely upon develop. Trade unions and professional associations need to reflect the changes taking place and I am pleased that the NAHT Life Members committee are working with the rest of the union to further develop our offering to all members. I anticipate that some exciting ideas will come forward from this pilot”.

National Life Member Committee (NLMC) terms of reference

One of the many challenges facing the NLMC is to make sure the committee remains active and in touch with both Life Members and also those still serving as school leaders on the front line. The danger is that those on the committee grow old ‘gracefully’ together and gradually lose touch with the world we have left. This must not be allowed to happen.

In order to counteract that possibility at our last meeting in November we took the decision that in future all new appointments to the committee will have a maximum term of 6 years. The same rule also applies to those currently in post. We see this as a progressive policy to ensure we have a healthy turnover of committee members whilst also bringing new blood on board to keep

the committee vibrant and relevant as we move forward. Incidentally this makes us the first NAHT committee to take such a position. Life Members once again at the forefront!

David Gilmore, NAHT Head of Communications, on the new NAHT website

NAHT launches new website NAHT is continuing to improve the digital experience of members with the launch of a brand new website.

Features of the new site include:

· A fresh new look and feel, continuing to utilise NAHT’s brand while embracing a cleaner, and less cluttered design

· A fully mobile responsive browsing experience, optimising the site’s usage on smartphones and tablets

· Improved menu options, with more intuitive navigation

· More accessible stylings meaning news, advice, and opinion pieces are now much easier to read than before

· Refreshed iconography and increased use of high quality imagery

· Brand new content to help explain NAHT’s democratic processes, and the work of our councils and committees

· One single home for NAHT and NAHT Edge, with two points of entry on the one site.

The website also provides easier access to information for life members, which they can find by hovering over about us, and selecting the ‘life members committee’ icon on the right hand side, or by logging in, and then clicking on the ‘Life’ tab from the box in the middle of the page. We have detailed information on the committee, as well as links to useful resources and documents.

The website will be in beta mode for the next 12 months and we will be taking this time to analyse key data and improve performance and user journeys accordingly. We would very much welcome any feedback you have on the new website, which we’ll be collating and reviewing periodically. You can tell us what you think by filling in this form.

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If you are not a union rep, and are looking for other information from the TUC, you might find one of these websites more useful:

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Visit now for a TUC free comprehensive, plain-English guides to all aspects of your employment rights, your health at work, and pay and pensions, as well as a jargonbuster to explain technical terms and an interactive trade union finder.

Helpful resources

On the workSMART site you will also find documents which relate to rights at work all over this TUC site.

Just find the subject you are interested in by selecting from the subject drop down menu, and then browse through the documents in this area.

Of particular interest may be The Law at Work subject area.

Also check out some of these other useful sites:


Pay and Work Rights Helpline 0800 917 2368


GOV.UK Employment

National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux

Health and Safety Executive

Equality & Human Rights Commission

Working Families runs a free helpline and can assist with queries on maternity and paternity rights; parental leave; flexible working; emergency leave; all rights and benefits for working parents and carers. The Freephone number is 0300 012 0312 or email our helpline team for advice at

Health News - Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced fashee-eye-tis)

An unpronounceable problem is the most likely cause of foot pain

Any problems with our feet can cause huge ramifications in our lives and one problem that is more widespread once we reach middle age and beyond is plantar fasciitis (pronounced fashee-eye-tis).

This is the most common cause of heel pain, usually caused by straining the ligaments that help to form the arch in your foot between the toes and heel.  Repeated strain to the ligament can lead to tiny tears developing which can hurt and even swell, causing more pain.

There are lots of causes but it can occur among anyone who has especially high arches or suffers from the opposite, very flat feet. Certain types of exercise can place stress on your heel and attached tissue such as long distance running or aerobic dancing; and sometimes simply standing on your feet for long hours in occupations such as factory working or teaching can cause the problem. Being overweight can add additional strain in this area as well. Another cause is wearing shoes that don’t fit well or offer any support. It is more common in women, and that could be in part due to women wearing high heels and then swapping to flat shoes which can cause a strain on the plantar fascia ligament.

The symptoms like so many things can vary, but generally plantar fasciliitus can cause pain in your heel and foot after you have been sitting down for a long time or when you get up in the morning. Sometimes the pain can increase throughout the day, or the problem can show itself when you stand for a long time or even when you climb stairs.

If the pain is not too severe, then self help ideas may be recommended by your health provider including wearing supportive shoes with shock absorbency and not walking barefoot on hard surfaces. An ice pack held on the area for 15 minutes three or four times a day can be helpful as well to help reduce the pain and any inflammation. There are also some simple exercises you can do at home to stretch your arches which may help.

It can take many weeks or even months to reduce the problem,  and pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also be useful.

There are physical remedies that are sometimes recommended, such as night splints which are to stretch your calf and the arch of your foot while you are asleep; or orthotics to offer custom made arch supports so that the pressure on your feet is distributed more evenly.

When the pain is severe and doesn’t respond to the normal treatments, then there is a range of other treatments that can help. These include injections, usually containing a steroid medication, and shock wave therapy when sound waves are aimed at the area to stimulate healing. These can be very effective but there can be side effects and they don’t work for everyone. There is a procedure called Tenex which removes any scar tissue on the plantar fasciitis without main surgery; but in chronic conditions surgery can be performed to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This should greatly reduce the pain but side effects can include a weakening of the arch in the foot.

There is more information



Fuelling fun for the young at heart, Silversurfers is an entertaining, informative lifestyle site and social network.

At the heart of Silversurfers is a community, which offers a safe and light-hearted place to chat with like-minded friends, comment in the Forums and share your views; plus post your poems, photographs, recipes and short stories in our Showcase.

You will also find Silversurfers on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Millions of Facebook followers regularly engage on our Facebook site and with each other – making new friendships – and enjoying our entertaining posts.

We all have a wealth of experience gained from working, hobbies, interests and living! We encourage our members to assist others with help and information on our social media networks and forums and to actively join in the discussions.

Silversurfer members are also avid travellers who are inspired by and enjoy our hand-picked selection of worldwide holidays at highly competitive prices. We proactively source the best deals on travel, insurance and other services from leading providers – as a registered member you’ll find these in our Discounts+ section.

The regular newsletter has prize draws and great discounts on leading products and services you really value.

Babyboomers refuse to rest up in retirement by Rachel Lacey                                           

Baby boomers are turning their backs on a traditional retirement, preferring to work, support charities or help out their families, according to new research from Brewin Dolphin.

Following a study of 2,000 over 50s, the wealth manager found that one in five are still working full time in their primary career, however the large majority (71%) have either retired or taken partial retirement. More than half of survey participants had given up full time work earlier than anticipated - with an average age of 57.

One in 10 had been lucky enough to be able to afford to retire before the age of 50.

In its research, Brewin Dolphin was able to identify three core lifestyle choices for retirees. One in 10, labelled ‘Retirement Returnees’ had either set up a business, returned to work on a consultancy basis or was making money out of a hobby.

Money was the main motivator for Retirement Returnees (56%), but 53% also wanted to keep their mind active and 50% were worried about getting bored. The average retiree in this group worked 11 hours a week and earned £8,500 a year. However, some, whose skills were still very much in demand, could command earnings of up to £90,000.

One in eight were tagged ‘Vibrant Volunteers’ and were helping charities or in the local community.

Maintaining social interaction was the key reason this group chose to volunteer (58%), but like those returning to paid employment, 54% also wanted the mental challenge. More than a third (35%) said they were passionate about helping a cause. People in this group typically volunteer for six hours a week.

‘Family Firsts’ accounted for one in six of those surveyed who were helping family members with, for example, grandchildren or older relatives.

One in 10 over 50s are spending time looking after their grandchildren – often because they believe it will help them live longer and help them stay physically active. On average, they spend 10 hours a week providing childcare.

Those assisting older relatives, typically provided 14 hours of support a week, however two-fifths of people providing this sort of care (41%) felt obliged to do so.

‘Retirees play a vital role in society’

Commenting on the findings, Liz Alley, head of financial planning at Brewin Dolphin, says: “Retirees play a vital role in society and attitudes to retirement have changed - people don’t necessarily stop working altogether; many see later life as a time to learn new skills, give back to the community or help family. However, for those looking to earn money in retirement, or use their time for social or family good, there will be different financial requirements to consider.

“People may think that retiring in their early 50s is unrealistic, but we’re seeing more people planning a staged retirement - whether its starting their own business, volunteering or helping family – it is increasingly becoming the norm.  This may mean taking a pension later into retirement, or using pension drawdown to fund a new business venture. Anyone planning a staged retirement may want to seek help before they give up working full-time to ensure that they are financially equipped to follow their hopes for later life.”

Tax tip of the week

By: David Prosser 09/03/2018

Rent-a-room relief allows you to earn up to £7,500 a year in rent, tax-free. However, the relief only applies when the letting income comes from your “only or main residence”, warns  Tax  Tips & Advice. If you had to move away temporarily for work, and wanted to rent out a room in your house over this period, whether or not you could still benefit from the relief would depend on the facts, according to HMRC: “are you putting down roots, or just biding time until you return to your main home?”

However, a property need only be a main residence at any time during the “basis period” – the tax year, or the duration of the period that the room is let. If your residence in the property overlaps with that of your tenant, you should benefit from the relief.  Where you vacate the house to rent a room on a short-term basis (via Airbnb, say) the relief should also still apply.

Who will get your pension when you die?

More than 750,000 people may miss out on inheriting pension benefits because pension providers have not been notified of changes in people’s circumstances, warns new research from insurer Royal London.

The problem reflects the way private pension providers ask savers to fill in an “expression of wishes” form when they first begin making contributions. This form sets out who should receive any pension benefits that can be passed on in the event of the saver’s death. In many cases, the circumstances of savers may change radically in the decades after they begin a pension plan, but the “expression of wishes” forms don’t get updated. This may mean the wrong person inherits the benefits – a former spouse following a divorce, for example, rather than a new partner.

Expression of interest forms aren’t legally binding. In practice, pension providers have discretion over who they pass benefits on to and may be able to consult savers’ wills to get a full picture of their preferences. Nevertheless, the problem can be very difficult to resolve and may result in a painful and costly dispute, with no guarantee of the result the saver intended.

The exact rules on who is entitled to inherit pension benefits – and what tax is due – vary according to the nature of the scheme and the age of the saver who dies. However, savers should keep providers up-to-date on their wishes – including all pensions taken out in the past, even if you have stopped paying into them.


First published 17 October 2017