NFER awarded major grant funding for teacher supply research

News Release

Monday 17 February 2020

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has secured a research grant from the Nuffield Foundation to carry out new annual analyses of the trends in teacher recruitment, retention and working conditions in England and Wales.

The grant funding will enable NFER to continue the Teacher Labour Market in England Annual Report series over the next three years, producing clear and engaging reports on the teacher workforce in England.

NFER will also use newly-available Welsh teacher census data to highlight the teacher supply issues in Wales through three national reports, providing robust system comparisons with England at a pivotal time for devolved policy implementation.

In the new research, NFER’s researchers will also develop new and improved metrics for measuring teacher shortages and their implications for schools, and conduct in-depth analysis of variation in teacher supply across England.

The research project will build on NFER’s strong and diverse portfolio of teacher recruitment and retention research, including the Nuffield Foundation-funded Teacher Workforce Dynamics in England project, which identified key factors associated with teacher retention.

Carole Willis, NFER Chief Executive said: “Ensuring there are enough high-quality teachers in schools across England and Wales is crucial for delivering a first-class education for young people. Our previous research into the teacher workforce in England was a sharp reminder that the profession is facing many challenges, which are impacting on attracting and keeping teachers in our schools.

“This new project will provide analysis that informs education stakeholders, policymakers and the public on the progress being made towards meeting the teacher supply challenge. Developing a more thorough understanding of the impact that recruitment shortfalls and low retention are having on schools as the supply challenge intensifies is essential for the future of the education system.”

Josh Hillman, Director of Education at the Nuffield Foundation said: “There remains a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, as well as a number of policy developments and changes in the labour market, so it is vital that we keep up the momentum when it comes to understanding the factors affecting the teaching workforce. The Nuffield Foundation is pleased to be funding this series of reports from NFER, which will provide evidence-informed recommendations for government and other decision-makers in the education system to help address the teacher supply challenge.”

The 2020 Teacher Labour Market report in England is due to be published in March with the first annual Teacher Labour Market report in Wales due to follow later in spring 2020.

Further information on NFER’s previous research on teacher recruitment and retention can be found on

For further information or to be included on the press list to receive these reports, please contact: Richard Faulkner on 01753 637366 [email protected] or Sundip Gill on 01753 637218 [email protected]