Teacher retention

Research published in a recent report from the National Foundation for Educational Research finds that the proportion of teachers who are considering leaving the profession has risen from 17% to 23% over the past year.

Protective factors associated with retention include job satisfaction, having adequate resources, reward and recognition, and being well supported by management.


Interviews with a self-selecting sample of disengaged teachers indicate that “workload is at the centre of why teachers are considering leaving. This is often perceived to stem from two main drivers – policy and inspection. According to interviewees, a high workload is associated with
two other negative outcomes – poor health or feeling undervalued – which leads to teachers wanting to leave.”

The research found “no evidence of any influence of a school’s proportion of free school meal pupils, academy status or region on intent to leave the profession“.

Maths teachers and senior leaders have high levels of engagement and are less likely to be considering leaving. Conversely, science teachers, and experienced male teachers have a heightened risk of leaving.

What’s the problem in science? And why experienced male teachers? It’s a fact that we have only one male teacher.

Lynch, S., Worth, J., Bamford, S. and Wespieser, K. (2016). Engaging Teachers: NFER Analysis of Teacher Retention.Slough: NFER.