Research project aims to find secrets to teacher retention

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

A 14-month research project has launched aiming to understand the factors associated with teacher retention, turnover and returning to teaching.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation to carry out the research.

It comes after the NFER last year published two reports – Engaging Teachers and Should I Stay Or Should I Go? – exploring the factors that relate to teacher engagement and retention.

In the new research, NFER’s academics will investigate these topics in more detail, with the aim of broadening their understanding of the issues involved and developing potential strategies to help schools address them.

A series of working papers and roundtable meetings are planned throughout the project, as well as an interim report in July 2017 and a final report planned for publication in early 2018.

NFER chief executive Carole Willis said: “Against a backdrop of increasing pupil numbers and teacher shortages in key subjects, understanding the dynamics of the teacher workforce is important to assist policy-makers and system leaders formulate effective responses to this important issue. NFER experts will provide new statistical analyses and draw on expert knowledge to look at the implications and identify possible solutions.”

Josh Hillman, director of education at the Nuffield Foundation, added: “Teacher recruitment and retention is an issue of critical importance to the education system and has a direct impact on the quality of education children receive, particularly in shortage subjects and in certain areas of the country.

“Previous work funded by the Foundation relating to the costs and benefits of different teacher training routes highlights the need for a different policy approach in order to help secure a more stable supply of teachers, and we hope this NFER analysis will help to identify what that might be.”

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