What teachers do next after leaving and the implications for pay-setting

Jack Worth and Dawson McLean

11 January 2022

Research report on the DfE website

This research analysed thirty years of longitudinal data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) to understand teachers’ labour market and help to inform the setting of teacher pay over the next few years. The research was commissioned by the Office of Manpower Economics.

Key Findings

  • Only two per cent of teachers who left teaching switched to a different professional or managerial career.
  • More than two-thirds (72 per cent) of teachers who left for another job remained working in the wider education and childcare sector after leaving.
  • Teachers who left teaching for another job tended to earn more than when they were a teacher, but less than otherwise similar teachers who stayed in teaching.
  • Earnings after leaving teaching tended to differ across gender, phase and experience. Relative to similar teachers who stayed in teaching, female, primary and experienced teachers who left teaching tended to earn less than male, secondary and inexperienced teachers who left.
  • Teacher pay appears to have become relatively less competitive compared to outside options over the last decade, particularly for early-career teachers.