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School leaders' survey indicates high levels of dissatisfaction with services provided by the Education Employers to schools in Northern Ireland

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In March 2018, NAHT(NI) undertook a survey of school leaders to determine the level of satisfaction with provision of a number of key services provided by their employers. 182 responses were received. The findings will be launched at the NAHT(NI) conference taking place from 10 to 11 May 2018. 

NAHT(NI) President Paul McClenaghan stated: 

“NAHT(NI) decided to undertake this survey because we were aware of a growing dissatisfaction among our membership regarding the services they were receiving from their employing bodies.

"In Northern Ireland, this matters more than any other of the UK or Ireland because such a high proportion of an ever-diminishing education budget is retained centrally (spending on pre-school, primary and secondary education per pupil is 46 per cent higher in Scotland, 18 per cent higher in England and 31 per cent higher in Wales). [1]

"Therefore, it is vital that employers provide support and services that are effective and value for money.

"This work must not be viewed as an attack on the employers. The purpose of this work is to inform constructive dialogue to enable positive reform of the education system to the benefit of all children and young people in Northern Ireland.

"Our report contains more than 40 recommendations for change.  We are calling on the Education Employers, the Department of Education and the Secretary of State/future Executive  to consider our findings carefully and initiate a process of improvement.”

The survey found low levels of satisfaction across all areas.  

Key statistics 

  • 73 per cent of respondents rated provision for Special Educational Needs to be poor or needing improvement
  • 61 per cent of respondents rated support from their employers with financial planning and advice regarding budgets as poor or needing improvement
  • 72 per cent of respondents stated that work provided by employer approved contractors to maintain school premises was poor or needing improvement
  • 84 per cent said support for career development and networking opportunities was poor or needed improvement.

A copy of the report and the accompanying executive summary can be found below.

[1] Northern Ireland Childrens’ Commissioner “The cost of education” (2017) available at

First published 10 May 2018