Teacher Retention and Turnover Research - Research Update 2: Teacher Dynamics in Multi-Academy Trusts

Jack Worth

26 June 2017

Multi-academy trusts (MATs) are the legal employer of all staff in the schools within the trust. Therefore, in theory, the MAT structure enables leaders to take a strategic approach to staff deployment and gives them the opportunity to redeploy staff to where they are most needed in the trust. We explore within-MAT staff movement in practice using data from the School Workforce Census.

This NFER Research Update ‘Teacher Dynamics in Multi-Academy Trusts’ is the second publication in a series that form part of a major new research project – funded by the Nuffield Foundation – to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics within the teacher workforce in England.

Key Findings

  • The amount of staff movement between schools in the same MAT is more than ten times higher than the amount of movement we would expect between any two schools that are not in the same MAT and are the same geographical distance apart. This suggests that MATs have internal teacher labour markets that are somewhat distinct from the teacher labour market in the local area outside of the MAT.
  • When classroom teachers and senior leaders move to a different school in the same MAT they are more likely to move to a school with a more disadvantaged intake than a school with a less disadvantaged intake. This is in contrast to teachers more generally, who are more likely to move to a school with a less disadvantaged intake. This suggests that the strategic approach MAT leaders can take towards workforce management might provide an effective mechanism for deploying staff to schools that struggle more with staff recruitment and retention
  • Staff movement to different schools within the same MAT is highest for senior leaders and in larger MATs that are closer together.

See more information about the project on teacher workforce dynamics.

Also see NFER’s other research on the teacher workforce.

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