School Workforce

School Workforce Research

NFER has a well-established research programme on teacher supply, combining analysis of large datasets and in-depth qualitative research to provide fresh insights and identify improvements to keep teachers engaged and aid retention. Our research aims to give policymakers and system leaders an accurate picture of the education workforce to guide effective, proportionate and well-targeted action for recruitment, retention and development.


Mentoring for Early Career Chemistry Teachers

This research report details the results of a one year mentoring intervention pilot which involved the pairing of early career chemistry teachers with a subject-specialist mentor in order to improve retention.


Teacher Autonomy

This research is the first large-scale quantitative study to look at teacher autonomy and its importance for retention in England. NFER have worked in partnership with Teacher Development Trust (TDT) on this project, and TDT have published a downloadable resource for school leaders to accompany the research.


Part-time and Flexible Working

This NFER research investigated the demand for part-time and flexible working, the barriers for secondary school leaders and how these can be overcome. It comprised an analysis of national data, survey questions and interviews with school leaders.


Teacher Labour Market 2021 


Teacher Labour Market 2019

Teacher Labour Market in England - Annual Report 2019

NFER’s first look at England's teacher labour market found that a fifth of teachers feel tense about their job most or all of the time, compared to 13 per cent of similar professionals.


Recruitment and Retention

Funded by a grant from the Nuffield Foundation and building on our previous research in this area, which included research on headteacher retention and the role of executive headteachers in MATs, NFER began a programme of major research to understand the dynamics of the teacher workforce in England.


Our evaluation work assesses the impacts of policies and programmes on teacher recruitment, retention, development and effectiveness, and identifies the mechanisms that underpin change.We undertake evaluations using a range of methodologies, including:

  • randomised controlled trials,
  • quantitative impact analysis,
  • surveys, interviews and case studies.