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NAHT life members' newsletter - spring 2019

NAHT Life logo

Welcome to our spring newsletter

A message from Steve Iredale, NAHT past president and chair of the National Life Members Committee (NLMC) 

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first NAHT life members newsletter of 2019.

Once again thanks to those of you who have been in touch with comments and suggestions as to how we can improve and develop the content. It’s also been particularly encouraging to receive articles from colleagues who are not part of the National Life Members Committee and not directly active within NAHT any longer.

If we are to broaden the appeal and success of the newsletter we really do need ideas and articles from as wide a section of the life membership as possible.

These can of course be about current educational issues although we are particularly keen to receive articles on other aspects of your world of retirement, whatever it looks like!

For example, as a committee we are aware of some retired NAHT groups which operate around the country in various ways.

Why not find the time to share what your activities include and how you are organised in order to perhaps help inspire others to follow your example?

Our next newsletter is due out around mid-June so plenty of time to get your heads round any contributions!

We look forward to hearing from you if you can find the time.

Steve Iredale
NLMC Chair

Telford 2019 NAHT National AGM and Conference 3 - 5 May

The 2019 NAHT Annual Conference is being held at The International Centre, Telford between 3 and 5 May 2019.

The conference will involve debate and policy making and delegates will hear addresses from the general secretary, incoming national president and guest speakers including Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC

Those attending the conference will also have the opportunity to engage with our conference sponsors and network with colleagues. Life members should liaise with their Branch or Regional Secretary or Regional Life member representative should they wish to book a place.

Friday 3 May - Various meetings, workshops and AGM (AGM restricted to members only)

Saturday 4 May - Trade Union Conference Day

Sunday 5 May - Trade Union Conference Day

*Please note: programme may be subject to amendment

Life members Task and Finish Group

Exciting times and opportunities for NAHT and its life members.

I am delighted to give an update on the progress of the life members Task and Finish Group. This group was set up in May 2018 to include representatives from National Executive, Serving Officers and National Life Members Committee.

Thus, the group make-up includes:

●      John Killeen chair (National Life Member Committee vice chair)

●      Anne Lyons vice chair (NAHT immediate past president)

●      Andy Mellor (NAHT president 2018-19)

●      Paul Whiteman (general secretary)

●      Steve Iredale (National Life Member Committee chair)

●      Michael Wilson (National Life Member Committee)

●      Donal McCarthy (National Life Member Committee)

●      Hilary Alcock (National Life Member Committee)

●      Magnus Gorham (NAHT director of democracy and governance)

●      Mark Cornell (NAHT director membership services)

The key outcomes set for the Task and Finish Group is to develop:

●      (i) Life member representation in the NAHT organisation, which recognises the contribution and potential of the 14,000+ life members. To look at the necessary constitutional changes required to effect better representation for this important group of NAHT membership.

●      (ii) To examine and substantially enhance the membership offer and benefits to all members; but with a particular focus on life members.

This is a time limited group with an agreed reporting structure which consists of an interim report to be made to AGM in May 2019 and final proposals, with possible recommended constitutional changes to be made at the 2020 AGM. Great progress has been made since the initial meeting.

A two-year pilot has been set up for a National Life Member Committee representative to attend all National Executive meetings from June 2018 to March 2020, to contribute, as is felt appropriate or as the agenda and knowledge dictates.

To date Steve Iredale and John Killeen have shared this role and between them have attended all recent National Executive meetings, where their contributions have been welcomed and valued. Towards the end of the two-year pilot, it will be evaluated and agreed whether it is to become a permanent arrangement, with a life member representative elected to serve on the National Executive via a national election of all NAHT life members.

NAHT Membership Services

Mark Cornell and his team have been very proactive and have already advanced a range of possible new membership benefits, which will greatly enhance the offer that is presently available to all members.

The Task and Finish Group are considering a range of proposals, some of which will be totally free and will be included in members annual subscription, whilst others may require a very small increase in subscription. But as a result, these changes will allow members to access substantial savings on a host of purchases, services and other appropriate benefits.

The group is also taking the opportunity to look at how the NAHT can actively contribute and represent members in key areas such as pensions, healthcare and support with managing and accessing the social care systems.

We are confident even at this stage; that the outcomes from the Task and Finish Group’s work will greatly enhance the range of opportunities and benefits for all members, especially life members.

We anticipate announcements and proposals as early as the AGM in May 2019 as part of the annual conference in Telford. But for the 13,000+  of life members who will not be able to join us at Telford, we will keep you fully informed of these exciting developments through future life member newsletters or specific detailed life member mailings.

John Killeen
Chair of NLMC Task and Finish Group.

NAHT’s school funding campaign steps up the pressure

Members have much to be proud of in this campaign but with the comprehensive spending review this year there is much more to do, writes Rob Kelsall, national secretary, campaigns and organising

As we enter the third year of our campaign on school funding the issue remains as big a priority for NAHT as it was when we kicked-off the campaign back in January 2017.

While it may seem like an arduous campaign, we must remember that had it not been for the efforts of NAHT members working alongside parents, teachers and governors we would not have seen anything like the additional and re-prioritised funding worth over £2 billion for our schools, coming from the government. 

On reflecting upon the huge success this campaign has had securing some additional funding for schools it is important to focus, albeit briefly, on the unprecedented levels of engagement we have had from members on this issue. While the extra funding is welcome, it doesn’t go anywhere near addressing the real-term cuts which schools have had slashed from their budgets since 2010. In England this is the equivalent of 8% cut in per-pupil funding, in Wales a 5% cut and in Northern Ireland a staggering 10% cut according to the institute of fiscal studies recent analysis.

During this current autumn term alone, over 4,500 school leaders and NAHT members have attended one of many campaign events either organised or supported by NAHT.  Be that by marching on Downing Street in September, the first demonstration of its kind for at least a generation, or by attending one of our many education summits, funding briefings or workplace meetings which have taken place across towns and cities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In December in the North East of England, hundreds of NAHT members worked together to send letters to over 250,000 parents setting out the dire situation for school budgets in the region. This action resulted in a petition to Parliament which 55,000 people have now signed.
That same month 120 members from the Midlands and North of England came together in Sutton Coldfield to listen to and support SEND campaigners from across the country.

The great thing about this summit was that it brought together parents and school leaders who so often find themselves battling on the school gate over the resources available for children with SEND.

The summit provided an opportunity for school leaders and parents to understand each other’s positions and more importantly, to agree that it is not schools that are to blame for the lack of resources and not NAHT members who want to limit the potential of children most in need of additional support.

There is no doubt that our members have led the way in highlighting the damaging impact that this crisis in school funding is having upon our children and young people.

We have been hugely successful not only in engaging members but also the wider general public in this debate.

We have secured hundreds of millions of pounds in extra funding for schools and we have won the argument and if we need proof of this fact then just take a look at the research published in late November by the House of Commons Library, Parliament's own research centre.

However, there is still a huge amount more to do as government funding fails to keep pace with the cost of running our schools. Even with the additional monies that have been made available by the Treasury for those ‘little extras’ school budgets are at breaking point.

Just last month the Education Policy Institute published research showing a third of all maintained schools were in deficit. London Councils have predicted a shortfall in High Needs Budgets for this year of over £75 million just in London and even after the additional £350 million of SEN funding has been factored into the equation. 

Maintained nursery schools face a funding cliff edge in 2020 which if left unresolved could see 400 nursery schools, the ‘jewel in the education crown’, at risk of closure.

School leaders can be rightly proud of the success they have had in this campaign and their work is testament to what can be achieved when we come together as a profession.

However, there is so much more to be done. As we head towards the CSR this year, it will be down to each and every school leader to campaign even harder if we are to secure the funding to provide a truly world class education service that our children and young people deserve.

Take a look at our campaign page to see how you can get involved and help us to secure sufficient and sustainable funding for all of our schools.

officials training brochure.png


NAHT volunteer officials’ 2019 training programme

Branch officials national training programme 2019

Organising for Success

NAHT recognises the importance of our officials and the huge role they play in the success of our association.

We also know and value the fact that our members are professionals and deal with difficult decisions every day in their day job, however we also understand that if you haven’t previously taken on a more active role in supporting members in your local branch or region doing so may feel a bit daunting.

That’s why NAHT has, over the past couple of years, developed a comprehensive programme of training for officials designed at equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to ensure they are able to provide members with first rate advice and guidance on matters which may arise from time to time in the workplace.

2018 saw the first year of dedicated officials training aimed at supporting the trade union function of the association. In that year we saw 73 officials from 25 branches across ten regions attend official’s training programme modules.

The 2019 officials training programme has built upon this success and developed into a three-stage training programme which will support officials from the point they are elected through initial coaching and the official’s induction course. Once officials have gained that deeper understanding of their role and function they can then move on to a range of six tailored modules covering issues such as employment law, grievance and disciplinary investigations and organising campaigns.

All courses are certified by NAHT and recognised and accredited by the TUC. As part of the process officials also receive NAHT credentials demonstrating their official role within the Association.  The courses are all free and will hopefully demonstrate NAHT’s commitment to supporting and developing the life blood of the association, our officials.

Rob Kelsall, national secretary, campaigns and organising said:

‘The national officials training programme will provide members with the tools they need to take the Association to the next level and equip them with the confidence to robustly represent members both on an individual and collective basis in their branches and regions. This is an exciting development for the association and one which we intend to refine and improve over time.

It is part of our commitment to officials and demonstrates that NAHT is organising for success.


Health & Wellbeing

Cancer symptoms: The signs you need to know to catch the deadly disease early

If you experience any of these symptoms it’s important you visit your GP  for investigation.

NHS Choices and Cancer Research UK both aim to provide simple, reliable information on the possible signs and symptoms of cancer.

Developing any of these symptoms does not definitely mean that a person has cancer, but it is important to speak to a doctor if they appear. These potential warning signs include:

●    unexplained weight loss,

●    unusual swellings or lumps anywhere on the body,

●    changes in the size, shape or colour of a mole,

●    ulcers or sores that won’t heal,

●    blood in urine or faeces,

●    changes in bowel habits that last longer than six weeks,

●    problems passing urine,

●    a cough or hoarse voice persisting for longer than three weeks,

●    difficulties swallowing,

●    heavy night sweats,

●    unexplained persistent pain lasting longer than four weeks, and

●    for women, unusual change to the breast, or vaginal bleeding after menopause or between periods.

What are the benefits knowing the signs of cancer?

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer because early diagnosis of the disease greatly improves the chances of treating it successfully. When cancer is left untreated it is more likely to spread to other organs or sites of the body, making it more difficult to treat successfully. The survival of people with most cancers is much better in cases where the cancer is identified before it has spread. Further information about cancer waiting times can be found on the Nuffiled Trust website.

Pensions news update: Teachers’ Pensions

1.     Bereavement Allowance (previously Widow's Pension)

Eligibility - You may get Bereavement Allowance if all the following apply:

●    your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2017

●    you were 45 or over when your husband, wife or civil partner died

●    you’re under State Pension age

●    your late husband, wife or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease

You will not get Bereavement Allowance if you:

●    are bringing up children - you can claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance  instead

●    remarry or form a new civil partnership

●    live with another person as if you’re married or in a civil partnership

●    were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner before their death

●    were over State Pension age when you were widowed or became a surviving civil partner - you may be able to get extra State Pension

●    are in prison

Use a benefits calculator to check your eligibility.

Other bereavement benefits

You may also be eligible for a Bereavement Payment.

You do not have to apply more than once - you’ll be considered for all bereavement benefits when you apply for one.

If you live abroad - Contact the International Pension Centre to find out if you can claim if you’ve moved abroad.

International Pension Centre Telephone: +44 191 21 87608 Find out about call charges

Department for Work and Pensions Bereavement and widows’ benefits International Pension Centre, Tyneview Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE98 1BA                                                                                                                                                             

●      You must include your:  1. Full name, 2. date of birth, 3. National Insurance number (if you know it)

2. Find bereavement services from your council                                   

Contact your council to find resources and support to help in times of bereavement.  To find your Council enter a postcode, for example SW1A 2AA               

Find a postcode on Royal Mail's postcode finder                                   

If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland Contact your local council to see what bereavement services they offer in:


East Midlands - Life membership article - Community Radio FM

Life after headship - Community Radio FM

I retired from my Headship in 2010, but had no difficulty finding something new to do. I was 60 years of age and in good health and didn’t want to take on a new paid job, but looked for a volunteering opportunity. I had enjoyed my many years in education, but felt that I needed something different for a few years - and luckily a great opportunity came along.

During the last few years of headship in a Primary School in Long Eaton, I was introduced to a group of radio enthusiasts who were working to start a community radio station in the area. They came along to a number of our school galas and fairs to provide music for us and promote their campaign.

About a year before I retired, they obtained a licence to begin broadcasting on FM and as I had been added to their mailing list, I discovered they were looking for volunteers. I contacted them, was invited to a meeting just before I retired and my future began…

As many will know, it is very easy to find yourself doing things that you never dreamed you would. This certainly happened to me. The original intention was to present a radio show about one of my passions, musical theatre, perhaps once a month. However, before that could happen a morning presenter left and I was asked to take on a 4 days a week live show. It was a bit of a shock, but of course, I said yes. We volunteers do, don’t we? Amazingly, I have been doing that show on the station, Erewash Sound 96.8fm, for the past 8 years. Actually, I present 4 morning shows and a Saturday breakfast show!

Although I loved being a head teacher, taking on a volunteer role soon after finishing gave me a real boost and challenge and I love doing it. Being a volunteer with no pay is important to me, because I am doing a job I want to do for the enjoyment it brings, not to pay the bills. It can be stressful at times, although I can choose what and how much I want to do.

I have also been able to bring some of my knowledge and experience, gained over so many years of professional life, to another job. For example, in addition to presenting my radio show, I also am Chair of the Board of Directors and on the Management Team. As many will know, “old habits die hard.” 

In addition to my work on the radio I have been a NAHT life member since I retired, and I am the East Midland regional secretary. Before retiring I was also the Derbyshire branch secretary and I have been the regions rep on the National Life Members Committee for a year now. I really enjoy my work as a volunteer with the association- I have been a member of since 1980 - although I realise how quickly one can get out of date with current practice. However, I firmly believe that we life members have a very positive contribution to make to branches and regions given the wide experiences we have had as leaders before retirement.

In conclusion, my retirement so far has given me the opportunity to do something very different as a volunteer while maintaining, I hope, a useful contribution to the profession in which I spent so many years. Being a volunteer, in my experience, has been life enhancing and I will continue to do it until I decide to do something else - maybe going on a world cruise - I’ll wait and see!

For the record, Erewash Sound broadcasts on 96.8fm in southern Derbyshire but is also available online at  and also on an App (Free download from App Stores). My shows are Morning Plus from 9.30am to 1pm weekdays except Wednesday and Saturday breakfast from 8am to 10am. Why not have a listen and let me know what you think. I can be contacted on

Eastern Region - Life membership article

A cautionary tale…...   from not so long ago!

Part 1 Spring 2019  - NAHT past president, Chris Harrison

Across the spring and summer 2019 editions of the NAHT life member newsletter, Chris Harrison will consider the following:

  1. Why did they start with Ofsted in the nineteen’s?
  2. How does the system work today?
  3. What are the positive and negative aspects?
  4. Why do we continue to oppose testing and the relationship with raw data?
  5. How is the political situation now, what is the next direction of travel for school accountability?

Looking back to my first days as a head teacher, it is actually quite hard to think back to a time before we had three key components to England’s educational scene which continue to dominate so much of the work we all do in our schools. These key areas were a National Curriculum, the financial delegation of funding to schools (LMS) and the introduction of school inspections within a common national framework (Ofsted). However, the educational and political context within which these three components became the norm for the world of schools all took place across the very short period of a little over a decade starting from the Callaghan ‘great debate’ in the 1970s. Teacher unions industrial action (early in Margaret Thatcher’s first term) which focused on the withdrawal of ‘teacher goodwill’ at lunchtime, particularly for the wide range after school activities which were deliberately provided by staff in all schools to enrich the background and opportunity for all. Thus, we saw the demise of a real breadth of opportunity for all children to succeed and enjoy something at school whether academically talented, or not.

What I can remember clearly is that I was already working within my second headship before hearing a local education authority (LEA) adviser using the term ‘curriculum’ when referring to the day to day work of teachers and children in the primary classroom. I can also remember the introduction of the ‘Raspberry Ripples’ – government publications for each area of the curriculum issued soon after the conclusion of long-running industrial action. Schools were encouraged to explore the benefits arising from having a common curriculum offer to all which would provide real consistency, continuity and progression in learning for an increasingly mobile school population due to societal shifts in workplace and employment across the UK. The consultation and publication of the new National Curriculum quickly followed with a phased training and an introduction timeframe which meant that many schools found that teachers needed to attend these sessions in preference to the wholesale re-introduction of school lunchtime clubs, out of school activities and weekend events. As a consequence, the narrowing of opportunity for those who were not academically inclined had now begun.

The semi-privatisation of state education through the grant maintained programme was clearly aimed at breaking the control of the LEA’s monopoly of running schools. The Thatcherite dream of schools marketing themselves to parents and their communities, determining their own pay and conditions of service for staff and achieving full financial autonomy was realised through the development of the LMS model with its’ increasing levels of financial delegation of funding to schools. A key element of such autonomy was the parallel introduction of appraisal systems which eventually included the current performance management model of ‘payment by results’ where school performance results are used to formally inform pay progression at all levels. When the new UK government in 2010 announced within its Academy programme, a state education model which could develop with an encouragement for even greater autonomy for schools to determine their curriculum model, pupil intake and the staffing choices of who was employed in the school.  However, the final part of the jigsaw remained with the question of how should such a system be managed, and overseen by whom?

Interestingly, although it is nearly three decades since the Thatcherite period, the influence remains strong with subsequent reinforcement and endorsement of the original legacy question on school governance by successive government(s). The underlying factors which governs and regulates an accountability and inspection system remains one which still holds to account and influences every teacher in every classroom in England through each school’s position in league tables and through data-led targets and performance pay for all…this is what led directly to the creation of Ofsted itself as the official regulatory body for England. Remember, as an authority (Ofsted) was established specifically to both regulate and inform the nation’s elected (national) politicians and their civil service as the effective guardians of the public interest.

Still interested? Read more of a detailed description of the politics of these recent times in Sir Michael Barber’s ‘Instruction to Deliver’ where even today the role of league tables remains promoted as the most effective means of driving up standards in schools whilst at the same time holding both teachers and schools to account for their performance. Such pressure to perform for teachers and their schools is emphasized within the comment ‘However committed the professionals are, they can never have the degree of concern for users (of public services) that users have for themselves.’ This is a clear divide whereby teachers and schools as producers are seen as unable to meet the needs of, and serve, their children and the community agenda. What I do believe is that it is the very creativity, innovation and new ideas which teachers bring to their work in the classroom each day that makes the real difference to standards (not structures) because we all want the best for our pupils.

I do recognize that Ofsted inspection has changed significantly from the original model – with the current system encouraging inspectors to give advice and guidance to schools as part of the process. Proportionate inspection now sees some schools in a permanent state of ‘professional expectation’ as a consequence of an annual visit(s) timetable for a school compared with an up to five year ‘gap’ for those working in the highest achieving settings. Therefore, the importance of a school’s self evaluation  alongside their last inspection report and current performance/results still cannot be underestimated because it remains that it is  these key documents which continue to be ‘desktop analysed’ in order to determine the overall risk and need for an inspection visit, or not.

Schools will still chase their latest set of exam results to meet an externally agreed target, reflecting a culture whereby teachers themselves feel they are judged against their colleagues through test/exam results and then put under pressure to perform raise standards even higher. With such a culture, of course, whenever a school (or teacher) actually meets its targets, there is the chance that the setting will be then be charged with having set targets which weren’t sufficiently aspirational or challenging in the first place! The argument that league tables could present a transparent and easy point of reference for accurate information about school performance is opaque at best and at worst enables schools to make false claims eg to suggest that a school is best because it is high in the league tables is undoubtedly wrong. Why? Because it will be best at some things, but other schools lower down in the table will also be best at some things – particularly where they have achieved tremendous progress in giving a child the confidence he / she needed to thrive in the school experience.

Chris Harrison
NAHT past president & Eastern Region

Original article compiled in June 6 2010, with updates in 2019!
Part 2 will follow in the Summer 2019 life member newsletter

MOT law and Highway Code changes in 2019

Changes to the MOT rules in 2019 will affect how we drive on the road as well as how we maintain our vehicles next year. Drivers are responsible for keeping up to date with the law and changes to the Highway Code. And with technology constantly advancing, cars and road travel rules must adjust to match. Only in the last year there have been changes to rules and laws concerning both car tax and learner drivers. Now for 2019, there are to be a whole host of changes including new motorway, MOT and learner driver rules.

Passing cyclists

 It has always been inadvisable to pass too closely to a cyclist for safety reasons but you could now be fined if you come within a certain distance while overtaking. Following law changes in March, motorists could be fined for not leaving enough space between a vehicle and a bike. Failure to do so could land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

Police forces across the country are being encouraged to penalise those who drive dangerously close to cyclists. The Highway Code states drivers should leave at least 1.5m (4.9ft), which is roughly a car door width.

Smart motorways

The government is also considering fines of up to £100 for motorists who drive on lanes which have been closed on a smart motorway. These lanes are shown by red Xs on automated signs above the motorway, and are used when there is a blockage or accident to prevent further incidents.Any drivers who ignore the signs in future (to take advantage of a clear lane) could face fines. The government is expected to announce that offenders will face £100 fines and three points on their licence. It is believed they will be modifying roadside cameras to help identify drivers who violate these restrictions.

MOT Rules

 There are new categories for defects with cars which drivers will have to understand, which are:

●     Dangerous - Direct risk to road safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.

●     Major - Could affect safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.

●     Minor - No effect on safety, but should be repaired as soon as possible. 

●     Advisory - Could have an effect in future.

●     Pass - Meets the current legal standards. 

 A variety of new requirements are also being included in the MOT for the first time. These checks include:

●     Under-inflated tyres 

●     Contaminated brake fluid

●     Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or discs 

●     Reversing lights (for vehicles newer than September 2009)

Daytime running lights (for vehicles newer than March 2018)

Some things won't change though - the government considered lengthening the wait for a vehicle's first MOT from three to four years, but it will now remain unchanged.

Diesel Car Tax

The tax rates of diesel cars were increased from April 1 2018. This applies to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), usually known as road tax. Instead of being fixed at £140 per year, VED rates will now be calculated based on the car's carbon dioxide emissions.

The highest raise of first-year tax is £500, for cars which emit between 191 and 225g of carbon dioxide per year. However, those which emit the more environmentally-friendly 111 to 130g/km will only see their tax go up by £40.


NAHT member service -

With over 8,000 new cars to choose from at discounted prices to suit every budget, your next car is only a couple of clicks away. 
For NAHT members and family. The smart way to drive yourt next new car.

Get the details here


Tower to Power – Cycling for children’s mental health

Mental Health is a term on everyone’s lips but when its unpicked it tends to be adult mental health which is the focus for most. Children’s mental health is a largely unseen and unrecognised aspect of mental health for most but for those of us that work in schools it is a growing concern.

Couple this with a cut in funding for the health service and schools, then you have a situation which if it goes unchecked will create a financial cost for the next 70 years and beyond. Far better to intervene early which is what Place2Be, my Presidential charity, seek to do. They work in schools up and down the country supporting staff to support pupils with mental health conditions and supporting pupils directly.

The choice of charity for me was straightforward and I pledged when I became President, to do everything that I possibly could to support children’s mental health and Place2Be.

That is why I, and a team of intrepid cyclists will be cycling from Blackpool Tower to the seat of power in Downing Street to deliver a message to the Prime Minister about children’s mental health and how prioritising expenditure now is good for the children and good for the country.

I’ve done 60 miles before on my bike but never 278 across 4 days. It’ll be tough but the thought of the difference we can make to so many children will drive me on when the legs are tired.

We are asking for sponsorship to raise £10,000 for Place2Be so that they can support more children across the country but as well as your cash we also want your support. We would like you to pledge your support in no more than 280 characters about why you support what we are doing. You can deliver this to us on Twitter @andymellor64 or you can email it to us

If you would like to sponsor us or have someone who you feel would like to sponsor us corporately then please go to our Just Giving page.

Our ride begins on the Comedy Carpet outside Blackpool tower on 7 April and finishes on 11 April at Downing Street. For further updates please check the NAHT website

Andy Mellor
NAHT President 2018-19

School leaders today have our admiration!

It’s always good to hear from colleagues who have retired and are now NAHT life members and to get their thoughts on the current role of school leadership.

Thanks to Joyce Hobson (Qualified 1952, Doncaster Training College) who found the time to put pen to paper! We suspect the sentiments expressed by Joyce are very much shared by many of us!

Joyce writes, ‘I retired in 1989 after ten years service as a middle school head teacher.  I was aged 60.

I enjoyed those years and feel sympathy for today's head teachers.  I would not like the post now from all I read and hear.

I served on the local NAHT Committee and in the lead up to the introduction of a National Curriculum attended several residential weekend courses.  We got to know each other and when I retired I started a retired heads association.  EXEDS!  It lasted for 15 years and we held monthly meetings plus monthly pub lunches and outings. 

We enjoyed ourselves and, as years went by, were increasingly glad that we had escaped.  We began to feel that we had had the best years.

Today is a different world.

My daughter is teaching ... her husband recently retired from teaching in the university sector ... Director of Primary Education. I have tried to follow present policies, etc but I doubt I would manage what is now required of a school leader.

The aspect that I dislike most is:

●      the mistrust. 

●      the published league tables.

●      the emphasis on test results. 

●      is there any room for fun? 

●      is there any room for teachers to be creative?   

I discovered, as a teacher, that encouragement worked better than suspicion and condemnation. That trust and respect for children, staff, parents, governors and LEA officials alike produced better results than endless watching and checking up.

In other words,

I felt that I was a professional who had elected to teach because I believed that education gave opportunities.  I was grateful that teachers had helped me to achieve and to discover my potential.   I wanted to give something back. 

My respect now is for the present members of the profession, who have to succeed against the odds.  The children need you!’ 

Joyce Hobson

Becoming a Trustee for Coram’s Life Education in your local area

Coram: making a difference for children since 1739 by helping them to make healthy life choices.

Are YOU interested in becoming a Trustee for Coram’s Life Education in your local area?

Please take a moment to visit see the work done with over 470 thousand primary children in England. 

The programmes are run and delivered in many parts of the country and the organisation is mostly the responsibility of Local Boards of Trustees.

They are keen to recruit from the NAHT’s life membership to add quality expertise and further motivation to their ranks. 

If you are interested in becoming part of this and making a difference then please contact me and I will put you in touch with the local branch who will be very pleased to hear from you.

Kim Johnson, NAHT National Past President, Chairman of Coram Life Education

Useful Websites & Links

United Kingdom Home Care Association:

 Age UK:


Retirement matters:

Exploring retirement:

Marie Curie:

Diabetes UK:

Dementia UK:

Versus Arthritis:


NAHT NLMC Future Meeting Dates & Venues




3-5 May 2019

National Conference & AGM Telford 2019

Telford 2019

19 June 2019


Birmingham Clayton Hotel

25 September 2019


Birmingham Clayton Hotel

27 November 2019


Birmingham Clayton Hotel

Published 25 June 2019