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Teachers under pressure: working harder, but with less control over how they do their jobs

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 January 2021

Francis Green.

It must be exhilarating, if challenging, to set out for the first time on a teaching career in Britain’s schools. But, from eye-witness reports in recent years, for some new recruits the strains are not long arriving. Now, as a new term gets underway, the chaos surrounding the pandemic can only be adding to the pressures that teachers have laboured under for a long time.

The stats suggest that dissatisfaction is not confined to an unhappy few. In England, among the newly qualified teachers in 2014, some 14 percent had left after a year; after five years, a third had gone. It seems quite a waste. Teacher retention has been declining for some while, and had fallen yet again in 2019 — despite attempts to stem the tide.

What is it about the job of teaching nowadays (more…)

Report shines light on race inequality for BAME teachers

Blog Editor, IOE Digital14 December 2020

Antonina Tereshchenko.

Our new report ‘Making progress? The employment and retention of BAME teachers in England’, is published today. Focusing on the retention of teachers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, it questions the idea that the education system in England is ‘making progress’ in terms of race equality in the case of these teachers.

Currently, 14% of teachers in England are from minority ethnic groups. Our exploratory analysis of the 2018 School Workforce Data found that these teachers are much more likely to work in London. They are also more likely to work in schools with a high BAME presence, both amongst other staff and pupils.

The interviews with teachers who worked in urban, diverse and predominantly disadvantaged schools explored their job satisfaction and retention factors. We found that diversity of the workplace was important for these teachers. However, diversity was not enough to keep them in (more…)

How satisfied are teachers in England with their pay? It depends upon the perspective you take

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 June 2019

John Jerrim.

Pay is a key concern of teachers in England. It is one of the key aspects of their employment conditions, with previous research suggesting that pay is closely linked to the recruitment and retention of teachers.

At the same time, teacher pay is an area where there has been a lot of change in recent years. Reforms were introduced in 2013 that reduced the link between teachers’ pay and their length of service, while also giving schools more freedom to set starting salaries. Moreover, up to 2018 the public sector pay cap was in place, limiting annual salary increases of teachers in England to one percent.

This then begs the question, how satisfied are teachers in England with their pay? Evidence from TALIS 2018  provides important new evidence on this issue. (more…)

Schools that foster and harness staff commitment perform better

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 April 2018

Alex Bryson, Lucy Stokes and David Wilkinson. 
There are two things that people think they know about teachers.  One is that they are dedicated to their profession, motivated by a sense of “mission” rather than money.  The other is that they are overworked and suffer work-related stress. But are these things true? Just how dedicated are school employees to their jobs and do they suffer more in terms of stress and potential ‘burnout’?
There appear to be grounds for concern. Teachers are leaving the profession at alarming rates and those who remain report seemingly high levels of job-related stress.  But are these stress levels any higher than those experienced by workers in other professions?  And just how much do employees’ wellbeing and commitment matter for schools’ performance?
Studies of schools and school staff almost invariably focus solely on the schools sector so it is not possible to compare them with employees elsewhere in the economy. Our new study is, to our knowledge, the first (more…)

Priorities for a new Government: advice from our academics part 5 – Muslims, education and citizenship; teacher retention

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 June 2017

The IOE blog has asked colleagues from across the Institute what’s at the top of their wish list. Their replies have appeared over the past few weeks.
Muslims, education and citizenship
Given the present turbulent and divisive environment, how should a new Government approach British Muslims? I believe the new government should approach British Muslims first as citizens of this country and then engage with their concerns in terms of religion, class, gender and other identities.
It is true that being a Muslim means at least some attachment, theological or cultural, to Islam. However, the degree of attachment varies enormously from person to person – ranging from those for whom it determines every aspect of life to those for whom it is one among many loyalties and identity-markers.
There is no all-encompassing ‘Muslim community’, with a shared way of looking at the (more…)