June 22, 2023

Recruiting and Retaining New Entrants to Teaching: It’s time for a new approach

A Nationwide Problem

The recruitment and retention of new entrants for the teaching profession in England has reached a crisis point. Regarding training, 41% of secondary ITT places went unfilled this academic year. The overall number of people entering ITT for 22/23 was down over 7,000 on 21/22 and over 11,000 on 20/21.

Meanwhile, according to the 2021 DfE school’s workforce data, 12.5% of teachers left the profession after only one year, 23% within three years, and 31.2% within five. In total, 40,000 teachers left the profession in England last year, with a further 4,000 retiring. It is little wonder that teacher vacancy rates have doubled since 2019.

The situation may seem intractable, but the aggregate figures only tell part of the story. Individual schools, academies and trusts are successfully attracting people into teaching and successfully retaining them.


Creating Alternate Routes into Teaching

Two of these alternate routes into teaching, The Future Teacher Programme, and the TA Development Pathway, are being supported by Supporting Education companies Teaching Personnel and Best Practice Network. 

Click on the diagram to zoom in

A recent SEG Talking Talent webinar explored both routes, providing examples of how schools and trusts successfully employ them to secure their future supply of teachers.

If you missed the event, the recording is available here.

It was clear from the questions we received during the webinar that school leaders were mindful of retention and recruitment. And it is here that these routes into teaching have an advantage over the university route. Both the TA Pathway and Future Teacher Programme allow schools and educators to assess who is suited for a teaching career and build up the practical experience needed to ensure the transition into full-time teaching is a success.

For example, graduates of the Future Teacher Programme are imbued with the school’s culture and can quickly take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles.

Creating a Retention Culture


Studies have shown that there are as many reasons why people stay in teaching as why they leave. For ECTs, research suggests that an individual is more likely to stay in teaching if it is something that they feel they are good at. Creating a culture where success is celebrated, and support and training are available to help ECTs burnish their strengths and address their weaknesses is paramount if we are to retain more of our new entrants to teaching.

To learn more about creating a culture of success for ECTs and improving retention rates, join our upcoming webinar Talking Talent – Ensuring the Success, Retention, and Growth of Early Career Teachers on Thursday 22nd  June @ 10 am.

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