Press coverage is a vital part of our campaign aim to improve schools for everyone. Our press and policy teams work hard to get as much exposure as they can for our key campaign goals. Here are some highlights of February’s media coverage of our main campaign priorities.
In February, we updated the School Cuts website. This project is a partnership with other education unions. NAHT’s point of view was strongly represented in the Guardian, Daily Mail, TES, ITN and BBC Online. There was good regional coverage of the impact of funding on class sizes in the Birmingham Mail. We continue to get good coverage of the funding crisis in Northern Ireland too, including this great story from the Belfast Telegraph about a row over a public meeting we held to discuss the cuts. Our concerns about the impact on children because of the changes to universal credit were reported in the Independent. The Daily Mirror reported the potential shape of things to come, with a look at a primary school that has begun to close early on a Friday.
February began with Children’s Mental Health Week. For the past three years, we have been a significant partner in this event, and this was reflected in coverage right across the week, including the Daily Express, Daily Mirror, The Independent as well as ITV and Schools Week. Schools Week and the BBC covered our story about exclusions malpractice in the North East. February ended with a snowstorm, which gave us an unusual opportunity to comment. The Guardian, SKY News, Daily Mail, Daily Star and The Mirror all reported our statements.
Recruitment and retention
Our reaction to the end of the Troops to Teachers programme featured in the Independent and Schools Week. A blog on women in leadership by our head of policy Valentine Mulholland was published in TES. There was regional coverage in the Lancashire Post and the Bradford Telegraph & Argus about the impact of the teacher recruitment crisis.
Structures and accountability
The launch of our Commission on Accountability was reported in TES online and referenced by Ann Mroz in her TES Editorial. Schools Week has also reported on our plans. You can find out more for yourself here. Our comments on secondary school places made it into the national press thanks to the Huffington Post and The Independent. Paul Whiteman’s comments about ethical leadership pay were also reported by Schools Week and the BBC, and covered in a blog for TES. James Bowen, director of NAHT Edge, continues to be a regular TES blogger. This piece on why the new education secretary needs to stop seeing "outstanding" schools and start visiting those judged "coasting" was a big hit on TES.
Our campaign work is greatly improved when members are willing to undertake press work on behalf of the association. Full training and support are given. If you are interested in speaking on behalf of NAHT on an issue close to your heart, drop a line to Steven George, our head of press & media campaigns.