21st February 2017

Teacher recruitment and retention: EPI research informs Select Committee report

The House of Commons Education Select Committee has today published a new report on teacher supply, which draws significantly on recent Education Policy Institute research and oral evidence.

Part of an Education Committee Inquiry, ‘Recruitment and retention of teachers’ examines issues such as teacher workload, the status of teachers, Department for Education teacher supply data, and the ability of teachers to obtain sufficient continuing professional development (CPD) training.




The Committee report concludes that the Government ‘lacks a long-term plan to address teacher shortages’, and ‘consistently fails to meet teacher recruitment targets’. It subsequently calls for a shift in emphasis from recruiting new teachers to retaining existing ones – arguing that a new focus on retention ‘could not only be more cost effective but also strengthen the pool of future leadership candidates by encouraging more teachers to stay in the profession.’

The report contains multiple references to ‘Teacher workload and professional development in England’s secondary schools: insights from TALIS’, an October Education Policy Institute report which employs the latest OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey data to examine teachers’ working hours, pay, and experience in secondary schools. This was supplemented by oral evidence from report author and EPI Chief Economist, Peter Sellen, which was given to the Committee in the same month.

Among the EPI citations, research informing the report included the key statistic that ‘teachers in England work an average of 48.2 hours per week, 19% longer than the average in other countries and third highest overall’, as well as the finding that a sizeable share of teachers state that their workload is ‘unmanageable’.

Research on teachers’ access to CPD was also drawn upon by the Select Committee report, including the finding that English teachers are allocated just four days CPD in one year, compared to other jurisdictions such as South Korea, which is afforded 12 days. This was accompanied by contributions from the oral evidence session, including one of several insights from Peter Sellen – that such a lack of CPD ultimately made teachers “feel less prepared – and that makes them struggle more with their working hours”.

You can read the Education Select Committee report in full here.

More information on the Inquiry’s latest oral evidence session can be found here.

See also:

Report – ‘Teacher workload and professional development in England’s secondary schools: insights from TALIS’.



Comment – Peter Sellen: ‘Long hours and low pay: why England’s teachers face burnout’, The Guardian

Parliament – ‘Findings from EPI teacher workload report raised in Commons education questions