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Examples from the UK

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Presentation from the Retain final seminar

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Examples from the UK

  1. 1. Examples fr0m the UK Presenters: Nick Givens, Caroline Parsons and Nigel Skinner UK Project Team: Karen Walshe, Lindsay Hetherington, Nigel Skinner, Nick Givens , Keith Postlethwaite, Andrew Dean http://www.retain-project.eu
  2. 2. The Problem: Teacher Retention In the UK, teacher turnover remains high in comparison with other countries.  Over 10 years (2003-2014), 12% of NQTs left after 1 year.  Between 2000 and 2009, 28% left after 5 years.  Only 80% of trainees who qualified in 2013/14 were employed in teaching posts within 6 months.  Recent figures estimate that almost 40% of NQTs leave the profession within a year of qualifying (the exodus of new recruits has almost tripled in six years).
  3. 3.  Retention problems affect secondary schools to a greater extent than primary schools  Particular shortages in certain subject areas, notably Science and Mathematics, where recruitment is more challenging and leaving rates for existing Maths and Science teachers are above average.  Teacher turnover is higher in disadvantaged urban schools (employ greater numbers of novice teachers)  More early career teachers leave the profession  Regional differences in teacher recruitment and retention issues exist, with greater vacancy rates in London, the East of England and the South East. According to research…..
  4. 4. The solution?  Research suggests that teacher resilience is key.  There are a wide range of professional, social, emotional and motivational factors which impact on teachers’ sense of their own resilience.  These include both personal and contextual ‘risk’ and ‘protective’ factors.
  5. 5.  Research suggests that a supportive school culture that is ‘integrated’ in supporting both experienced and novice teachers is a contributing factor for teacher retention and the development of teacher resilience.  Project set out to develop and trial a set of tools (toolkit) to support school leaders and teachers in developing an inclusive, creative, and integrative school culture. We argue that these tools can be effective in mentor/SLT support for beginning teachers.
  6. 6. Collaborative Research Project The UK project team worked with members of the senior leadership team and teachers in a total of six schools in the South West of England.
  7. 7. Literature Review: Reasons for staying  Vocation  Professional freedom  Supportive colleagues
  8. 8. Literature Review: Reasons for leaving  Workload  Seeking new challenges  School situation (e.g. poor behaviour, poor management)  Salary  Personal circumstances  Decline in public respect for the profession
  9. 9. Survey: Reasons for staying in the profession  Love of job  Sense of teaching as a vocation  Advantages: salary; pension; holidays; job security  Quality of support  Sense of accomplishment e.g. seeing students’ progress – academically and holistically  Variable nature of job  Need to stay e.g. financial commitments  Sense of responsibility for students
  10. 10. Survey: Reasons for leaving the profession  Workload (impact on family life, fatigue, focus on administration rather than teaching)  Balancing act - keeping on top of planning, marking, assessing, reporting; not knowing what to prioritise  Focus on meeting national targets, rather than fostering students’ enjoyment of learning)  Constant awareness of accountability / monitoring / inspection (‘OfSTED’)  Performance related pay  Pressure from parents/government/governors
  11. 11.  Poor public perception  Breakdown of the profession (e.g. unqualified teachers)  Lack of support; bullying from management; A lot of work not valued/rewarded  Parents not understanding they need to do their part  Prescriptive curriculum and lack of resources  Class sizes, poor student behavior, apathetic students Survey: Reasons for leaving the profession
  12. 12. Key Factor = Stress  The result of attempting to cope with workload  Too many things outside of teacher’s own control  Not wanting to let anyone down
  13. 13. Co-construction, Co-design & Collaboration Strong link between collaboration and positive school outcomes; high levels of motivation; and effective implementation of change. Research suggests that there are three key issues in teacher retention that collaborative working may help to address: 1. Teacher resilience 2. Risk management 3. Innovation
  14. 14. Tool 1: Framework for Collaborative Dialogue Rooted in Activity Theory – supporting teachers in exploring how they can take action for change in relation to a key issue/problem. Activity Theory notion of ‘tools’ Designed to scaffold collaborative conversations
  15. 15. The Framework for Collaborative Dialogue (FCD)
  16. 16. Worked Example of the Framework for Collaborative Dialogue (FCD)
  17. 17. Key findings… Comments taken from Teachers’ evaluations of the project: • ‘It’s very like the forms I used on my PGCE (pre- service )training, it feels familiar and helped to frame our ideas.’ Teacher of 2 years • ‘Useful – the questions in the boxes helped frame discussion.’ Teacher of 5 years • Gave an opportunity to look closely at the teaching standards and see how they were relevant’ Teacher of 4 years • ‘Questions useful, but having to record answers were more difficult.’ Teacher of 3 years • ‘Wonderful to have time to talk effectively.’ Teacher of 3 years
  18. 18. Tool 2: Lesson Study  Supported by the FCD  Supports teacher collaboration to address a key issue or develop an innovative and creative pedagogy  A group of teachers (usually 2-3) undertake to collaboratively plan a lesson which one will teach whilst the other(s) observe.  Fosters shared ownership of the lesson  Meeting to debrief enables critically reflective thinking about the impact of the teaching on pupils’ learning  Go through the process again as illustrated in the next slide
  19. 19. Flexible Schools may use both tools in a wide variety of ways, for example:  Whole school approach  Members of the SLT  Team of teachers e.g. a department  Triad of teachers e.g. SLT; Senior teacher; Novice teacher  Team of teachers and support staff
  20. 20. Promoting Factors  Collaborative nature of the project team (university and schools steering group)  Some of our schools in particular, recognised that they had retention issues and were keen to address these  The toolbox was most effective when it was integrated into already existing CPD goals and opportunities
  21. 21. Promoting Factors  Strong positive trusting professional relationships between school managers and teachers. School managers with attitudes that genuinely complemented the values and approach of the project were able to make best use of its contents.  School selected tools which were seen to be relevant for the context within which they work.  The initial success of some of the tools trialled in round 1 was a promoting factor and fuelled schools’ willingness to engage with other tools in the toolbox
  22. 22. Challenges The key challenge for schools was that of capacity, for example: 1. High turn-over of staff (particularly Headteachers) 2. High workloads and lack of time (and resilience) for teachers to engage with the project. 3. Danger that some teachers might see some of the tools (e.g. Lesson Study) as another management tool for monitoring them.
  23. 23. Challenges 5. Conditions of national accountability in England at the moment which means that schools are driven by the need to show immediate impact with regards to any intervention – what is the impact on pupils learning now? 6. Some tools were felt to be very time consuming and would therefore add to teachers’ workload and associated stress rather than reduce it
  24. 24. Preliminary Conclusions  The toolbox assumes that the goal is to help schools to create open and inclusive working environments, which assumes that schools want to achieve this and that schools would see the benefits of this.  Schools with high retention issues were the ones to drop out suggests that the tool box might be better seen as a PRE-EMPTIVE / ‘health tool’ (i.e. preventative tool) rather than an ‘emergency tool’ when the issues have already arisen.
  25. 25.  For the toolbox to be effective teachers need to trust that they are free to take risks (e.g. with Lesson Study) and try something completely new without fear of judgement.  A key thing that we’ve learnt is that it’s not the tool itself, but how its purpose is understood and how its location in the school culture is constructed e.g. lesson study could be seen as either another performance monitoring tool or as a genuine CPD tool.

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