Ambition welcomes the NAHT’s Improving Schools report

Nov. 18, 2020

Today the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and its School Improvement Commission published its report on school improvement, alongside a survey of its members suggesting that 47% of headteachers are considering leaving the profession. Read the report here.

The report highlights the crucial role of continuous professional development for teachers and school leaders in supporting school improvement. Nick Brook, NAHT’s deputy general secretary said:

“The best response to the damage inflicted by covid-19 on learning is to ensure that every pupil is taught by an expert teacher, someone who is continually improving their skills and is properly supported to do their job, in whatever circumstances they work. Now is precisely the time to invest in the ongoing development of professionals throughout their careers so that teachers can thrive and pupils can succeed.”

Ambition Institute CEO, Hilary Spencer, said:

“We welcome today's Improving Schools report from the NAHT and the School Improvement Commission. Against such a challenging backdrop for schools in 2020, this report looks outward and ahead, emphasising high quality professional development for teachers and school leaders as the most important driver of school improvement.

“As this report sets out, the best way we can improve education in this country and respond to Covid-19 is by ensuring every child is taught by an expert teacher who is continually improving their skills, working in a school led by expert leaders.

“The evidence tells us that professional development is the most cost-effective and highest impact way to improve teaching and leadership. The evidence is also clear that being taught by an expert teacher has an even bigger positive impact on disadvantaged children.

“Leading schools has always been a tough job. Even before Covid-19 shook the world and our school system, almost 1 in 3 headteachers left their roles within 3 years, and 40% of new teachers leave the profession within five years. The NAHT’s most recent findings warn us that number is rising further still – but high quality professional development has been shown to help increase teacher retention.

“That is why we welcome and fully support the Commission’s recommendations to make sure that high quality professional development is available to all teachers and leaders, and to support new headteachers stepping into role.”