Best Practice

Tackling teacher retention and turnover challenges

A major on-going research project by the National Foundation for Educational Research is helping us to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics within retention and recruitment for the teacher workforce in England. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at the latest findings

Teacher recruitment and retention remains one of the biggest issues facing policy-makers. But how to solve this is one of the great unanswered challenges in education.

Understanding how and why teachers are leaving is key in tackling retention. This is an important issue as pupil numbers are projected to increase by nearly 500,000 in the next five years. Fewer new trainees and teacher shortages in some key subjects further add to classroom pressures.

Recently published research from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), funded by the Nuffield Foundation, has looked at the factors associatxed with teacher retention and turnover.

The Teacher Retention and Turnover Research: Interim Report (2017) found that between 2010 and 2015 the number of working-age teachers who left the profession each year has risen steadily from nine to 11 per cent for primary teachers, while the number leaving their school to work in another has risen from five to seven per cent. This has left some schools struggling to fill vacancies.

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