With England’s schools facing rising pupil
numbers and teacher training targets being missed for the last five years, improving retention of existing teachers is vital. Every teacher retained means one less to train, saving money while keeping experienced teachers in classrooms. NFER is leading the way in researching the factors associated with teacher retention. Some of our key findings are… Teachers work around 50 hours per week in term time, longer than police officers and nurses – even when school holidays are factored in. Working intensively over long periods can create stress health and well-being issues. Many secondary school teachers switch from full-time to part-time work after leaving, suggesting that there is unmet demand for part-time work for secondary school teachers that drives some to leave. Teachers who leave the profession earn on average 10% less per year. Conversely, the job satisfaction of teachers who leave for a new job improves considerably. This suggests that pay is just one part of teachers’ decision to stay or leave, and other factors such as working hours and job satisfaction seem to be bigger motivating factors. Nurturing, supporting and valuing teachers is important in keeping their engagement high and improving retention. Making teaching a sustainable career is one of the keys to the future of England’s education system. It is one that both school leaders and Government have an important role to play in delivering. For more on NFER’s research and recommendations on teacher retention and recruitment, visit www.nfer.ac.uk/school-workforce

Keeping teachers in the profession
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