Teacher Resignation and Recruitment Survey (Report No. 40)

NFER, LGA

01 May 2008

The NFER conducted a survey of maintained primary and secondary schools in 2007 to investigate teacher retention. The survey was carried out on behalf of the Local Government Association and schools were asked to provide details about those teachers who left and joined them during 2006. The report provides details on the findings of this work and comparisons of the 2006 survey with those conducted in previous years.

Key Findings

  • In 2006, the turnover rate for full-time permanent teachers was 9.8%, which was a drop from 11.0% in the previous year. The highest turnover in recent years was 13.2% which was the turnover rate for this group in 2001. In primary schools in particular, the turnover rate has decreased, down from 10.2% in 2005 to 8.9% in 2006.
  • The area with the highest turnover for primary schools in 2006 was Greater London. In these schools, 10.9% of full-time permanent teachers left to work elsewhere. For secondary schools, the region in 2006 with the highest turnover rate for full-time permanent teachers was the South East (13%). Wales had the lowest turnover rate at 5.6% for primary schools and 7.3% for secondary schools.
  • In terms of subjects taught, IT had the highest turnover rate with 30.1%. The lowest turnover (6.1%) was in Art, Craft or Design. Other subjects varied between 6.2% and 23.3%. Teachers aged 40 to 49 were least likely to leave, with turnover rates for this age group of 6.3%t for primary and 7.1% for secondary. The highest turnover rates were for teachers aged 60 or over, as many of these teachers retired.
  • Nearly half of the full-time permanent teachers in all schools who resigned in 2006 moved to another position within the local authority sector. A fifth of those who left during that year retired from the teaching profession altogether. The remainder moved to other education jobs or jobs in other areas of employment, gave family reasons for leaving or did not give a reason.
  • The recruitment rate for all full-time teachers in 2006 was 12.3%, which was very similar to the rate in 2005 which was 12.8%. However, for part-time teachers the recruitment rate fell 3.6 percentage points between 2005 and 2006 to 10%.
  • Gross wastage, defined as the percentage of the whole teaching population who left the maintained sector decreased from 6.6 per cent in 2005 to 5.7 per cent in 2006. Net wastage, which is the difference between the gross wastage and the new recruits, fell in 2006 compared to 2005. In 2006, there was a net gain of 0.3%, compared to a net loss of 0.2% in 2005.
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