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Life membership FAQs

Who is eligible for life membership?  

Full members and professional associate members can apply for life membership:

  • if they are no longer eligible for full membership because their employment has ceased
  • and if they are entitled to take their retirement benefits (usually at age 55)

Why should I become a life member? 

If taken up within six months from the end of full or associate membership then life membership provides:

Will life membership cover me for any issues that arise from my time in full membership?

Yes. The main purpose of life membership is to provide retrospective cover for your former service when a full member.

How do I become a life member?

Please email to confirm your retirement date. It is important that we receive written confirmation of this date in order to process the transition from full membership to life membership at the right time. This will ensure that full cover is maintained for as long as you need it at work and that there is no over payment or underpayment of your subscription.

How much does life membership cost?

A one-off fee is payable in the first year by direct debit, in a single payment or in 12 monthly instalments:
  • head teachers £399
  • deputy head teachers £318

  • assistant head teachers £222

  • school business leaders £222

  • professional associate members £201

Thereafter an annual fee of £36 will be charged*.

Will life membership cover me for any work I do after retirement? 

Life membership is intended for those who have retired (which is why you must be age 55 or over).  If you should need part-time classroom teaching cover, please let us know.  This additional cover is free of charge for the first 12 months.  Thereafter an additional fee is payable, currently , which is currently £111 per year.

Not covered by life membership would be any leadership-type role, interim headship, advisory work or consultancy for example.  If this is a possibility we would be pleased to advise you on the most suitable membership category for your needs. Contact us on 0300 30 30 333 selecting option 2 or email

I am thinking of leaving headship and becoming a consultant until I am ready to retire, would life membership cover me for this?

No. Life membership is intended for those who have retired (which is why you must be age 55 or over) and only provides retrospective cover for their full membership years. 

We would still recommend you take out life membership so that your former service is covered by us and you maintain access to the benefits of membership.  For more information contact us on 0300 30 30 333 selecting option 2 or email

If you become self-employed we would recommend you take cover for public liability and professional indemnity insurance. This is available via our partner LFC Graybook.

Do I have to take out life membership immediately after retirement?

It is your choice to take out life membership but your application must arrive at NAHT within six months of leaving full or associate membership e.g. if you leave full membership at 31 August, then your application for life membership must arrive by the end of February the following year. 

*All subscriptions quoted are correct at time of publishing but can be subject to change.