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A female teacher talking to a classroom of pupils with their hands raised

Our researchers at the School of Education have contributed to a series of reports aimed at helping schools in disadvantaged areas attract and retain high-quality teachers.

The three reports were commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), an independent charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement.

The reports support the EEF’s flagship research theme for 2023: supporting the recruitment and retention of teachers to schools with high levels of socio-economically disadvantaged pupils.

Importance of leadership

Researchers from our School of Education led a review looking specifically at the importance of leadership on staff retention.

They found that prioritising teacher development, building an equitable support system, promoting collegiality, and maintaining a positive school climate are all effective leadership approaches to motivate and retain teachers.

What next?

Our researchers make a series of recommendations to schools wishing to improve their recruitment and retention.

These include implementing robust Continuing Professional Development programmes for staff and helping teachers manage their workload effectively.

However, they say further study is necessary to really understand why teachers stay at some schools but quickly move on from others.

Our researchers suggest that tracking teachers as they move schools and experience different leaders and working environments could be one way to better understand why certain schools are more successful at retaining staff than others.

Find out more

  • The full report ‘A rapid evidence assessment focussing on how school leadership, culture and climate support teacher retention’ can be read here
  • Lead investigator for the report is Dr Dong Nguyen, our Associate Professor in Leadership Management and Change in Education. Find out more about his work here
  • School of Education Professor Beng Huat See also contributed to the report, along with co-authors Dimitra Kokotsaki (Durham University) and Chris Brown (University of Warwick). 
  • To learn more about the EEF, visit their website

Our School of Education

  • We are one of the leading Schools of Education in the UK and ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.  
  • We aim to expand the frontiers of educational knowledge and to inspire our students to become the future architects of an equitable and sustainable world. Our students go on to successful careers in a wide range of different sectors. 
  • Feeling inspired? Visit our School of Education webpages to find out more about studying with us.