New research to examine evolving teacher supply challenge and actions policymakers could consider

Thursday 10 November 2022

A new research study will investigate the progress being made in England’s school system towards meeting the teacher supply challenge.

The report, due to be published by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) in spring 2023, will analyse the extent of shortfalls in teacher supply and make recommendations about how evidence-based policy measures could help improve the situation.

This will be the latest annual report on the state of the teacher labour market in England, which NFER has been publishing since 2019. The study will provide a clear and comprehensive summary of trends in teacher recruitment, retention and working conditions using the latest available data.

A key aim of the research is to provide up-to-date evidence on how factors such as pay, professional autonomy, job satisfaction and the availability of flexible working differ between teachers and other occupations. The report will be used to provide recommendations to policy makers on policy measures that could address the growing shortfalls in teacher recruitment and retention. Analyses from previous annual reports have been cited in policy position papers, including recommendations made by the School Teachers’ Review Body report on teacher pay. Findings have also been used by the Department for Education (DfE) and wider stakeholders to inform thinking on the state of the teacher labour market.

The 2022 annual report highlighted how the easing of pandemic restrictions and subsequent resurgence in the wider labour market meant increased pressure on teacher recruitment and retention. The current research will analyse how these trends have evolved over the last academic year and highlight teacher supply in the context of policy priorities as the wider labour market continues its recovery.

Jack Worth, NFER School Workforce Lead and co-author of the upcoming report, said: “An adequate supply of high-quality teachers in schools is essential for the system to deliver excellent education to all children and young people. It is therefore vital the teaching supply challenge is addressed.

“The consequences of not meeting this challenge may mean schools are staffed in ways that are detrimental to pupils’ learning and development.”


About NFER
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is the leading independent provider of education research, and holds the status of Independent Research Organisation (IRO) from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Our unique position and approach delivers evidence-based insights designed to enable education policy makers and practitioners to take action to improve outcomes for children and young people. Our key topic areas are: accountability, assessment, classroom practice, education to employment, social mobility, school funding, school workforce and systems and structures. As a not-for profit organisation, we re-invest any surplus funds into self-funded research and development to further contribute to the science and knowledge of education research.  @TheNFER

The research will be directed by Jack Worth, NFER School Workforce Lead. Jack provides on-going commentary on teacher recruitment, retention and related workforce issues in editorials and on his Twitter account (@JackWorthNFER).