2019 Education
SemanticScholar ID: 209898147

Attracting and retaining teachers in hard to staff areas: What does the evidence say?

Publication Summary

This describes a systematic review of international research evidence to identify the most promising approaches to attracting and retaining teachers in hard-to-staff areas and schools. The aim was to identify approaches that had been tested and shown to have benefits. For this reason, we included only empirical studies that employed a causal or suitable comparative design, and had robust measurements of recruitment and retention outcomes. Studies were quality assessed to take account of threats to trustworthiness which may bias the results. A search of 13 electronic databases and Google/Google scholar identified 20 distinct research reports that met the inclusion criteria. The only approach that seems to work in attracting teachers to challenging schools or areas was the offer of financial incentives. However, such financial incentives are not enough to keep teachers in these schools once the financial payments are removed. A caring, supportive and congenial working environment may be helpful in keeping teachers when they are under pressure. There is little evidence that approaches such as mentoring, support, or teacher development are effective. This is largely because much of the research on these approaches is so weak. More robust research capable of addressing causal questions is therefore urgently required to determine their impact in attracting and retaining good teachers in areas where they are most needed. But longer, the solution is to introduce policies improving hard to staff areas and schools, so that the problem of staffing does not arise.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Stephen Gorard

Prof. Stephen Gorard

University of Durham - Professor in the School of Education

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