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Recruitment and retention

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School leaders are driven by an ambition to provide opportunities for young people to reach their full potential. To fulfil that ambition, teaching must attract and retain a high-quality, well-trained and properly rewarded workforce. 

Through our work with members, NAHT is documenting and communicating the unfolding recruitment and retention crisis taking place in our schools to policymakers at the highest levels. 

NAHT is campaigning to:

Ensure all schools can recruit and retain excellent teachers and leaders

  • Lobby for change and reform of key macro issues affecting recruitment and retention: pay, accountability, funding and workload and identify key actions to be taken to improve these
  • Press for the development of a range of flexible leadership and non-leadership pathways to support recruitment and retention, including new opportunities that will retain the experience and expertise of mid to late career leaders
  • Build on the opportunities offered by the Early Career Framework to press for similar support for new heads, deputies and assistants, and school business leaders
  • Maintain a watching brief on the impact of Brexit on teacher supply
  • Lobby the DfE for practical measures to address the workload of school leaders, including protection of strategic leadership time
  • Campaign for a staged real term, restorative pay award for teachers and school leaders
  • Develop a position on the role of CEOs and other posts outside the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) including a position on which roles should have a requirement for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Lobby for a review of the pay system, including the STPCD
  • Press government to maintain and enhance the teacher's pension scheme and/or Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
  • Support work to ensure the profession represents a diverse workforce, including those with protected characteristics
  • Support effective partnerships between school leaders and governors with clarity of roles and responsibilities across different school structures.

Create a safe working environment for school leaders and their staff

  • Lobby the DfE to take concrete steps to tackle verbal and physical abuse and aggression against school staff, including harassment online and through social media.  

Ensure professional recognition of school business leaders (SBLs)

  • Lobby the DfE for SBLs to be included within a new national framework of terms and conditions for school staff
  • Promote the professional standards framework for all SBLs
  • Raise the profile and understanding of the SBL role across the school sector, including with governors.  


Pensions: missing service

NAHT is aware of members having issues with missing service in their pension scheme. It is very important that members check their pension scheme service history and take steps to correct this if it's wrong.

When there is missing service on your record this does not necessarily mean that you or your employer have missed any contribution payments. Missing service is usually caused by details not having been provided correctly to Teachers' Pensions, which results in a gap in service record.

If you have missing service, you'll need to speak to the relevant employer for that service period and ask them to update your record accordingly. This will then be reflected on your service history and benefit statement.

This process to correct missing service can be long and fraught (and in some instances unsuccessful) because, as noted above, your employer at the time of any missing service has to put this right and if they don't hold the relevant records then they may not be able to do this. The increase in the number of separate employers and the increasing use of outsourced payroll services has made it more difficult to get the necessary documentation from previous employers, so do not leave this until just before applying for the pension – we strongly recommend checking all your service as soon as possible and then making a note to check this once a year after that,as NAHT is unable to intervene in this area and there is also an obligation on you, as the member, to check your service history to ensure that it's accurate. It worth noting that those at most risk of incomplete records are those who have moved employer regularly or who have had breaks, such as a period of maternity leave.

We also strongly recommend that you check your salary slip each month to ensure pension contributions have been deducted and that you keep these payslips so you can evidence payment if ever needed in the future. Checking and updating your record regularly (if needed) and keeping this sort of evidence is important to ensure that you don't lose any pensionable service.

To check your pension online, you need to have registered for 'My Pension Online' through the Teachers' Pensions website. Once logged in to the secure portal you will be able to check and manage your pension online, including a personalised estimate of your retirement benefits based on the service and salary details sent to the pension by your employer. You will also be able to update personal details and change your death grant nominees.

First published 22 July 2021