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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.  


STRB releases 31st report for teachers' and leaders' pay 2021/22

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On 21 July 2021, the secretary of state confirmed, in a written ministerial statement, the decision to 'freeze' teachers and leaders pay for 2021/22. This follows the decision set out at the spending review last year of the government's intention to 'pause' headline pay rises for the majority of public sector workforces in 2021/22.

In line with the limited remit set by the secretary of state last year, the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) released its 31st report on pay for teachers and leaders for 2021/22, recommending:

  • a pay award of £250 for all teachers earning less than £24,000 (or the recommended equivalent value for teachers in the London pay areas)
  • that advisory pay points are reintroduced on the unqualified teacher pay range, as was the case for classroom teachers on the main pay range and upper pay range last year.

The Secretary of State confirmed his intention to accept these recommendations in full.

NAHT has robustly rejected the government's decision to implement a pay freeze for teachers and leaders – calling it an unacceptable 'slap in the face' that will result in yet another real terms pay cut for teachers and leaders.

You can read our full response to the announcement here, alongside our joint union statement.

There will now be an eight-week consultation, which NAHT will be responding to both individually and with the other teaching unions, outlining our strong opposition to the pay 'freeze'.

First published 23 July 2021