Diagnostic analysis of the effect of retention and turnover on the teaching workforce

This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics within the teacher workforce in England. The study will inform policy makers and system leaders to help formulate effective responses to this complex issue and meet the challenge of increasing demand for teachers.

We will use data from the School Workforce Census to determine the key factors associated with a teacher leaving the profession (retention), moving within the sector (turnover) and returning to the profession. We will also undertake new statistical analysis using data from the Understanding Society survey to understand the external and personal factors that are associated with teacher labour market behaviour. Using data analysis and stakeholder interviews, we will draw comparisons between teaching and other public sector professions, particularly nursing and policing.

We will produce a series of evidence-based outputs throughout 2017 to share this knowledge with policy makers and other stakeholders, and inform where policy interventions might usefully focus in future to help meet teacher demand across the school system. A final report will be published in early 2018.

Published research


Teacher retention and turnover research: Interim report

Published October 2017


Teacher retention and turnover research: Research update 3

Is the Grass Greener Beyond Teaching?

Published December 2017


Teacher retention and turnover research: Research update 1

Teacher retention by subject

Published May 2017


Teacher retention and turnover research: Research update 2

Teacher Dynamics in Multi-Academy Trusts

Published June 2017

See NFER’s other research on the teacher workforce.