Retention: How to keep teachers teaching

Research is showing that the numbers of teachers leaving full-time teaching and those considering leaving the profession are at an all-time high. This research highlights the vital problem of keeping teachers teaching, which is currently experienced within the industry especially by school leaders.

Creating a culture that gives new and established teachers a clear career development path, lots of support and recognition and the opportunity to play a full part in the success of their school is well within the powers of heads and their senior leadership teams if they adopt the right strategies.

Jamie Jardine, Principal at The Heath School in Runcorn, Cheshire, sees teacher recruitment and retention a priority area and he and his team have adopted a great approach.

Create a career path

Being a teaching school and part of a School Direct teacher training consortium, they have the capacity to give their trainee and new teachers a lot of support and a good understanding of where a career in teaching can take them. This understanding and access to support and training gives them a good chance to develop their skills and have a strategic plan for their career development.

Jamie Jardine sees that “for a lot of teachers who consider leaving the profession the main reason as I see it is that they aren’t getting the opportunities they want to develop their careers in the direction they want.”

Support Networks

At The Heath School they build support networks both within and outside of the school, so that the teachers get the opportunities to work with colleagues from both within and outside the school. This network enables teachers to be able to learn from each other and share their ideas.

“Internally we offer people secondments. As part of teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) posts, we have given classroom teachers the chance to lead school initiative. For example, we have someone analysing and having a positive impact upon the attendance of Pupil Premium pupils and someone who worked with me on our successful application for Investors in People gold accreditation.”

Give them a chance to lead

“We use our INSET days for our learning communities.” This gives them the opportunity to look at the specifics of their teaching practice and test new approaches.

Nurture your NQTs

“If our NQTs haven’t trained with us we still make sure that they have a very thorough induction process.” They pair them with someone in the same curricular area and ensure issues are accounted to make sure they receive guidance and support in those areas.

 “Really clear lines of accountability are essential I think. A good performance management system is part and parcel of this”. This is so that everyone knows what is expected of them and there are no surprises down the line.

Listen, don’t judge

They do an aspirations survey every year as part of the performance managements process. This helps to understand their career ambitions to then help them reach where they want to be.

Celebrate success

“We have a reward and incentive group. Every term staff nominate a colleague who has gone above and beyond the call of duty”.

To see the full article please visit SecEd.

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