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The Teacher Trap - New research from Affinity Workforce on teachers' careers




The Teacher Trap

Reimagining teachers' careers in MATs

Research with over 500 teachers has shown that there is deep career dissatisfaction in the teaching profession. However, there is little active job hunting going on. Nearly half of teachers are open to a new job, but are not actively looking.

  • 73% of teachers feel overworked and 66% feel undervalued. 62% say their motivation has dropped in the past two years.
  • 45% of teachers are open to a new job, but not actively looking for a new role. Only 10% are actively looking, and 8% are looking to leave the profession.

Teachers in multi-academy trusts (MATs) are the least settled, with only 27% not interested in a new job at this time. Teachers in independent schools are the least likely to move, with 47% not interested in a new job.

The teacher trap

"Today, teachers are caught in a trap - they're dissatisfied in their jobs, but are not taking control of their own careers. While we all want stability of teaching in the classroom, it is as important to have someone who is fully engaged and satisfied in their role to deliver the education that pupils deserve. MATs should be working with their teaching personnel to devise career progression plans, exploring and opening up opportunities to their existing workforce," says Mike Ruddle, Director of Affinity Workforce.

We can see this teacher trap in how teachers are looking for a new job. The findings show that teachers are relying on jobs boards (56%) and newspaper / education supplements (46%) to find a new position. The use of specialist recruitment agencies is not that high (42%) and recommendations from friends and colleagues is low (30%). While teachers are highly active in a personal capacity on LinkedIn and Facebook, they are not using these channels to find a new role. According to our research on how teachers find jobs, only 7% use LinkedIn and 5% use Facebook for job hunting.

Career progression and collaboration

Further investigation shows that teachers have a desire for more mobility (42%) and to be able to work in different schools. Over 62% of teachers surveyed believe that MATs offer teachers more career development opportunities.

Amanda Webb, Strategic Education Director of Affinity Workforce says, "If MATs have the data on their existing workforce, and insight into their teachers' aspirations, they can provide opportunities for career progression for their teaching workforce. This could include upskilling on the commercial aspects and strategic thinking required in more senior leadership roles. This would address the recruitment and retention issues that are of serious concern in an environment where there's a chronic shortage of high-calibre teaching staff."

MATs and their employer brand

MATs certainly need to work on their employer brand. If offered the choice of a job, 68% of teachers would prefer a role in a stand alone school or academy. Only 32% would proactively choose a career in a MAT or similar collective of schools.

This is further reinforced. Over 94% of respondents want to work in a school that has a reputation as a ‘good employer', where the school has high performance aspirations, and where teachers rate the leadership of the school.

These are all elements of creating a strong employer brand for the school. This is one area where MATs can really make a difference. "There are challenges when creating one employer brand for a MAT," says Mike Ruddle, Director of Affinity Workforce. "Often each school will want to maintain their own identity and personality, as well as the autonomy to make their own decisions. This is what is attractive about working in stand alone schools. To help MATs, we cite examples from the corporate world. Global companies such as Unilever have a strong singular identity, while maintaining the individuality of each of their brands, such as Dove, Domestos, Cornetto etc."

The new Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Supply Teacher Framework can help address some of these issues. Framework recruitment agencies will work with MATs to assess their employer brand and identify the best channels and ways to reach candidates.

"The opportunity is there for MATs to take a different approach to working with their teaching personnel. It starts with data and insight, and then builds into creating clear career paths and progression plans that give teachers what they want in terms of mobility and experience. A strong employer brand increases the retention of staff, making their schools a more attractive place to work and learn."

-         ENDS

About Affinity Workforce

Affinity Workforce's managed services and innovative recruitment solutions transform the way that Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs), academies and schools attract, engage and retain the very best teachers. Established for over 25 years, Affinity Workforce operates from a national footprint of 18 offices across the UK. Within its education division, the Monarch and CER brands place quality teachers into both temporary, permanent and fixed term roles.

Press information

Veronica Hannon and Holly Taylor

Transform Communications Ltd

T: 01225 863846,