Teacher Labour Market in England

Jack Worth and Henry Faulkner-Ellis

22 March 2021

NFER’s 2021 Teacher Labour Market in England Annual report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, monitors the progress schools in England are making towards meeting the teacher supply challenge by measuring the key indicators and trends of teacher supply and working conditions.

The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on society, the economy and on the entire education sector. Teachers’ workload, well-being, recruitment and retention have been affected by the national crisis. This report presents new analysis of the short-term impacts of the pandemic on teacher well-being, workload and supply.

Key Findings

  • The onset of the pandemic led to an increase in subjective distress, a rise in anxiety and lower levels of happiness and life satisfaction among teachers compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, the lower level of well-being among teachers was also experienced by similar individuals in other professions.
  • Teachers’ working hours dropped to a more manageable level during 2020, but returned to the pre-2020 level in the autumn term
  • Teachers’ well-being is likely to have been insulated to some degree by relatively high job security. Relatively high job security in teaching compared to an uncertain wider labour market has also led to a surge in applications to initial teacher training (ITT)
  • Covid-19 has led to a reduction in capacity for school-based training placements, just as more trainees are entering ITT
  • Teacher pay freezes are unlikely to be sustainable in the medium term as the wider labour market recovers

pdf icon Methodology Appendix