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ERIC Number: EJ745531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Improving Teacher Recruitment and Retention: The Importance of Workload and Pupil Behaviour
Barmby, Patrick
Educational Research, v48 n3 p247-265 Nov 2006
Background: The shortage of teachers in England and Wales continues to be a high profile area of scrutiny. Particular subjects (including mathematics, science and English) are categorized by the Training and Development Agency (TDA) for schools as priority or shortage subjects, and London especially has experienced particular shortages in teacher numbers over recent years. Purpose: This paper reports on the findings from a telephone survey with teachers, examining the issues of teacher recruitment and retention. The paper highlights the important factors, as perceived by teachers, that impact on why teachers enter the profession, and also why they choose to leave. Sample: The survey involved 246 teachers in England and Wales, teaching the shortage subjects of English, maths and science. The sample was chosen such that 25% of the teachers taking part in the study would be working in London. Our intention was to have sample numbers for teachers inside and outside London from which meaningful comparisons could be made regarding their views, and so highlight particular issues that were important for teachers in London. The 75% sample not from London was geographically representative of the rest of England and Wales. Design and methods: Prior to the survey, a provisional examination of recent research findings was carried out, leading us to categorize relevant issues into three areas: (1) reasons for wanting to enter teaching; (2) reasons for not wanting to enter teaching; and (3) reasons for wanting to leave teaching. The telephone survey with teachers therefore looked at these three broad areas. A pilot study was carried out with 22 teachers, trialling the survey questions to be used in the telephone interviews. With the agreement of the teachers, the telephone interviews were recorded to aid the data gathering process. Copies of the interview script were sent out beforehand to the teachers being interviewed, in order to try to reassure teachers that no "unexpected" questions would be asked of them, and also to give teachers the opportunity to provide considered responses during the interviews. Results: The survey found that although more "intrinsic" and "altruistic" reasons were given by teachers for going into teaching, the issues of workload and pupil behaviour were found to be most important in dissuading teachers from entering the profession or possibly causing them to leave teaching. Conclusions: The study concluded that in order to have an impact on teacher numbers, the two issues regarding workload and pupil behaviour should be seen to be tackled from the perspectives of teachers. (Contains 8 tables and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London); United Kingdom (Wales)