Research into teacher training: Teach First School Information sheet

 Privacy Notice for Research into Teacher Training – Pupils

 Privacy Notice for Research into Teacher Training – Teachers

 Research into teacher training: Information Sheet for teachers

What is the purpose of this research study?

Teacher recruitment and retention is a significant issue within education at the current time. At present schools can choose to recruit new teachers from:

  • Teach First, where the organisation places individuals on a two-year leadership development programme within eligible schools or
  • Other school-based teacher training routes such as Schools Direct or
  • University-based teacher training routes.

What is the research about?

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of the three routes identified above on primary pupils’ ability in mathematics, as measured by the GL Progress Test in Maths. Analysis will also look at teacher retention by analysing data contained on the School Workforce Census (SWC). The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is carrying out the independent research. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has commissioned and is funding the research.

Is my school eligible?

To take part, you must be a primary school in England with a Teach First trainee. The trainee will need to be in their second (NQT) year of the programme in the 2020/21 academic year, and teaching in either year 3, 4 or 5.

If you are not sure about your eligibility or you would like to find out more, please email to find out.

How will my primary school benefit from taking part?

Upon completion of the research, participating schools will receive a payment of £750 and the results to their pupils’ completed assessments in September 2021. This will be in recognition of the commitment from the school in taking part and schools can use these funds in any way they see as beneficial to the school.

This study aims to provide evidence that will be useful for schools when making decisions about how to recruit and support new teachers. Your participation will help to strengthen the existing evidence on teacher recruitment and retention.

We also hope that you will find participating in the research interesting.

What will the research involve for Teach First primary schools?

In summary, schools with a Teach First teacher trainee starting in September 2019 will administer a maths test to the trainee’s class in the autumn term 2020 and then again, to the same class, at the end of the summer term 2021 (i.e. at the beginning and end of the trainee’s NQT year). The trainee and their mentor will each be asked to complete a survey, and in some schools we will interview key members of staff. We will also be asking for information about the costs of recruitment. The table below provides more detail of the activities.

How will the findings be used?

The overall findings from this research will be included in a publicly available report published by EEF and used to influence practice nationally.


Research task

Further information

September to November 2019

Schools recruited to the study

Schools provide NFER with details of key contact and / or mentor along with the name and contact details of the Teach First teacher trainee and the year group they are teaching in the 2019/20 academic year.

To be eligible for the project, the TF trainee must be teaching one of Y3, 4 or 5 in 2020/21. They may be teaching a different year group in 2019/20.

June 2020

Schools confirm that the Teach First teacher trainee is still at the school, NFER collect their Teacher Reference Number (TRN) and date of birth and confirm year group they will be teaching from September 2020 (year 3, 4 or 5)

Schools are provided with login details to the school portal.

In this communication NFER will also provide details of the pupil data collection task which will take place in July.

Schools to send out the letter to parents informing them of the study.

NFER will also provide schools with a letter for parents that explains the research and gives them the opportunity to withdraw their child from the study. This should be shared with all parents in the relevant year group ahead of class allocation.

Last week in June 2020

NFER contact schools requesting the pupil data for the children in the Teach First teacher trainee’s (NQT) class.
Schools will be given instructions on how to provide data securely via an online portal.

Pupil Data requested from schools: name, date of birth and UPN.

July 2020

Schools provide pupil data for their Teach First teacher trainee’s (NQT) class for the 20/21 academic year.

Schools to notify NFER of any pupils that have been withdrawn from the study by their parent/carer.

It is the responsibility of schools to notify NFER of any pupils withdrawn from the study as it occurs during the project.

September to October 2020

Pre-testing: schools administer the Progress Test in Maths (PTM) and return the completed assessments to NFER using secure couriers provided by NFER.

NFER collects TRN for Teach First teacher trainees.

Schools to notify NFER of any pupils withdrawn from the project since the summer term, plus any new pupils that have joined the school this term.

Autumn term 2020

For some schools NFER researchers will conduct telephone interviews with head teachers


May/June 2021

Online costs proforma: completion by school.
Surveys for Teach First teacher trainee in their NQT year and their mentor.

Cost proforma will collect school level cost information. To be completed by school bursar or senior leader.
Online surveys and proforma will be sent via email.

June 2021

End point testing with the same pupils who completed the pre-test using GL PTM.

This will be carried out by an NFER representative who will visit the school on a convenient date of your choosing within the testing period.

June/July 2021

For some schools NFER researchers will conduct telephone interviews with teacher mentors.


September 2021

Payment of £750 made to all participating schools and each school will receive their pupil results for both assessments.



How will data collected be used and protected?

All data collected by NFER will be stored securely. All data gathered during the research study will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). NFER, the data controller, has identified the legal basis for processing the general (legitimate interests) and special (research purposes) data. NFER’s legitimate interest for processing personal data is to administer the research. Further information is available in our privacy notices (details below). The data will be treated in the strictest confidence by NFER and named data will only be used for the purposes of this research. No school, teacher or pupil will be named in any report arising from this work.

Data collected during the evaluation will be used to inform further research on teacher retention and methods of recruitment. Administrative data about participating teachers will also be accessed from the SWC using name, Teacher Reference Number (TRN) and date of birth. Further matching of pupil data to the National Pupil Database (NPD) will take place as part of the research and this will involve analysis of free school meal eligibility, special educational needs and ethnicity. After three months of the completion of the study, all of the matched data (i.e. to NPD and SWC) will be added to the EEF archive and then ‘de-identified’ [1]. The EEF archive is hosted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and managed by the EEF archive manager. Other research teams may use the de-identified data as part of subsequent research through the Approved Researcher Scheme [2]. The Approved Researcher Scheme is used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to grant secure access to data that cannot be published openly, for statistical research purposes, as permitted by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 (SRSA).

[1] De-identified means that names, dates of birth and identifiers such as unique pupil number (UPN) and teacher reference number (TRN) are removed from data before it is made available to researchers accessing the archive.


Who needs to give agreement for participation in this research?

The headteacher is able to agree to the school’s and individuals’ participation in the study.

We will provide schools with a letter for parents to inform them about the study and their child’s participation. Schools should share the letter with parents/carers of the pupils in the NQT’s class. Parents can choose to withdraw their child from participating in the study at any time. They can do this by returning the form on the bottom of the parent letter to their school. Schools must notify NFER of any pupils withdrawn from the study.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you would like to discuss anything about this research, please contact Keren Beddow or Kathryn Hurd using the details below:

Telephone: 01753 637338