From education to employment

New interactive dashboard offers insights into local and national teacher workforce challenges

hands in the middle

Schools with a high proportion of pupils who receive Free School Meals (FSM) have a higher teacher attrition (leaving) rate compared to schools with a lower proportion. They also have higher teacher turnover and vacancy rates and spend more money on supply teachers.

These are just some of the insights highlighted by a new data dashboard, created by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The dashboard draws on data from the School Workforce Census as well as other sources of published data such as school-level expenditure and provider-level Initial Teacher Training (ITT) data.

For the first time, users can access data on a number of key workforce indicators to help understand teacher supply challenges in English primary and secondary schools. Broken down by local authority, parliamentary constituency, school type and academic subject, the data offers insights into teacher retention, recruitment and shortages while comparing regional data with national averages.

The dashboard also reveals little difference in teacher retention between schools in Education Investment Areas (EIAs)* and other areas. The rate of secondary early-career teachers leaving the state sector in 2020 was 11.5 per cent in EIAs, compared to 12.3 per cent in non-EIAs.

The new interactive tool also shows that children from schools with a high proportion of FSM pupils are more likely to be taught maths and science by teachers who do not have a relevant undergraduate degree.

NFER School Workforce Lead, Jack Worth, said:

“The data dashboard is easy-to-use and easy to access. It will support local and national decision-makers to take action to address teacher shortages in areas struggling the most.

“This initiative is part of our continuing commitment to supporting policy makers in developing robust plans which improve teacher recruitment and retention.”

Dr Emily Tanner, Education Programme Head, the Nuffield Foundation, said:

“This innovative dashboard provides key insights into the teacher workforce, showing how the quality of education that students receive varies according to where they live and the type of school they attend. Widening access to this data is an important step in achieving positive change.”

*EIAs are areas where ‘educational outcomes are currently weakest and other local authorities containing existing place-based interventions’

Sector Response

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“Too few graduates are choosing to train to be a teacher and too many teachers are choosing to leave the profession. This has created serious staffing gaps for schools right now, but it will also undermine the quality of education for the next generation.

“This important website shows that schools with higher levels of deprivation have greater difficulty retaining their teachers and that teachers working in schools with higher levels of deprivation are more likely to leave the profession.

“The Government must address the recruitment and retention crisis in teaching. This requires them to give teachers a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise. It’s vital too that Government makes teaching more appealing, and this includes tackling excessive workload and giving much more support to schools in deprived areas. Schools with higher levels of deprivation are much more likely to begiven a low Ofsted rating and this is driving teachers away from those schools and from the profession generally. Schools with higher levels of deprivation among their pupils need understanding about their context; instead, the Government has cut their funding the most.”

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