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Teacher Retention – Can you improve it?

Recent Press coverage will have confirmed what you already know! Recruiting high quality teachers is getting harder and harder, with there being a national shortage of some specialist teachers. Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of England Schools warns of Teachers moving overseas and according to a recent YOUGOV and NUT survey over 50% of teachers are looking to leave the profession in the next 2 years. With evidence like this the retention of your current teachers is more important than ever.

So how can you ensure that you keep the people you want and develop the excellent teachers that aspire to greater things?Teacher Retention

Here are eight ways to help Retain your teachers:

1 How effective are your appraisals? A constructive appraisal should reinforce strengths, while highlighting development areas. Many managers mention the strengths then dive into the weaknesses in detail, losing the employees buy-in from the start. If done correctly the appraisal will inform you where your employees see themselves over the next few years.

2 Do you have a CPD program that is accessible to all teachers? So they can grow within their role and prepare for their next. Allow employees to share their knowledge through team training sessions, mentoring and presentations.

3 Utilise synergies and collaborations to provide development opportunities for staff looking for their next challenge. Multi Academy Trusts can provide a formal mechanism to support secondments across different schools and environments for the benefit of the individual and the wider MAT. But consider utilising other less formal collaborations and partnerships to provide development opportunities for your teachers.

4 Are your Leaders doing their job well? Employees tend to leave managers rather than the organisation. Improving managers’ people management skills is one of the most effective ways to reduce attrition. Good managers develop engaged and committed staff that meet their targets and deliver the results your school needs.

5 Use Exit interviews – take note of what they tell you and take action on any issues that have caused the departure, this shows that you are taking employee feedback seriously; but don’t wait until individual leave to find out what would have kept them at your school. Consider the use of “teacher retention” interviews undertaken after 6 months to a year in post, to identify and address issues early.

6 Celebrate success, publicise excellent teaching, consider an award scheme and recognise long service. A please and thank you goes a long way and thanking an employee for the work they have just completed goes a huge way to making them feel valued.

7 Demonstrate respect for your employees, ask their opinions, listen to their ideas, never ridicule or shame them. Do you know what your employees complain about? Or how they would like the business to change?

Life-work balance8 Support your teachers to achieve a good work/life balance and help them to enjoy the work they do. Don’t be wedded to old working conventions and practice – be innovative in how you manage non-contact time.

When employee engagement and motivation is high, the quality of teaching and learning will improve. Engaged employees perform better, take less time off sick and are less likely to leave.

If you would like to talk to us and learn more about Employee Retention, please feel free to contact us on +44 (0) 1844 216290