School Workforce

Teachers are key to children’s educational outcomes. 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 retention and development.

The recruitment, development and retention of teachers and school leaders is crucial underpinning to a successful education system. 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 possible improvements to keep teachers engaged and aid retention.

We are expert users of large datasets on the teacher workforce, including the School Workforce Census, Labour Force Survey and Understanding Society survey. We can assist you to gain new, policy-relevant insights from these data sources on important research topics relating to the teaching workforce. We have used these data sources to provide answers to important research questions.

Our work also focuses on the retention and development of school leaders, including research on headteacher retention and the role of executive headteachers in multi-academy trusts.

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 quantitative impact analysis, surveys, interviews and case studies.