Edurio is launching one of England’s largest research projects on staff retention in schools.
While there are many factors of staff retention that are out of school’s control, like economic and geographic factors, some schools seem to be much better at retaining their teachers and support staff than others. We wanted to help schools and multi-academy trusts understand what they can do to improve staff retention, which would deliver better educational outcomes and save money.
That’s why we are really excited to launch a major research project in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Education to explore how staff well-being and working conditions link with staff turnover. This autumn we will be running a survey of school staff across 15 trusts and hundreds of schools in England. Each participating multi-academy trust will gain an unparalleled insight into their schools’ culture and staff climate (details on how your trust can participate at the end of the article). We will publish a nationwide report in early 2019 with the results collected from MATs taking part in this pilot.
“This project will provide access to data that can transform the way our organisation uses stakeholder feedback to continue to build on our key priorities of developing Strong & Effective Leaders, High Performing Staff, Successful Students and an Engaged Community”.
Darren Atkinson, South Pennine Academies Trust.
Our survey was developed for MATs to guide their strategy, for better staff retention and recruitment, reviewing the latest academic research on the factors influencing staff turnover. The survey content was developed by Edurio’s education team in collaboration with Dr Sara Bubb, Dr Peter Earley, and Dr Emily Gilbert from the UCL Institute of Education and partner academy trust leaders.
The survey covers targeted questions on staff satisfaction and explores three specific topics that have been shown to have the greatest impact on school staff’s decisions to either stay in or leave a particular school.
1. School leadership
School leaders have a central role at building a supportive working environment for their staff. They can achieve this by maintaining relationships based on respect and fairness, nurturing teacher engagement and providing consistent professional support.
2. Staff workload
Teacher workload and its impact on teachers’ work–life balance are vital for teacher well-being. Based on the recommendations by the reports of the DfE Independent Teacher Workload Review Group, the survey also allows to explore workload related to lesson planning and assessment in greater detail.
3. Staff relationships and working conditions
The survey also addresses other working conditions that show a strong link with staff well-being and retention — these include feeling safe at work, having a positive relationship with other members of the school staff and students as well as having sufficient opportunities for professional and career development.
The analysis of the survey will assist MATs in their understanding of current climate in their schools. This will enable school leaders to benchmark their results across England, collect evidence on their strengths and set new goals. The results will also enable improved communication during recruitment. Teachers are looking for posts in schools where their opinion matters and working conditions enable them to be the most effective practitioners that they can be.
While we already have a great set of trusts participating across the UK, there is still an opportunity to get involved. We are keen to have as wide participation as possible and are confident that the insights generated in the project will help school leaders, academy trust teams and policymakers understand their schools and the key challenges much better.
This project is funded by the European Commission and the surveys will be carried out in the Edurio stakeholder feedback management platform, giving access to intuitive and interactive results immediately.
Due to such a positive response to this project, there are only a few places left in this trial. If your academy trust would like to participate in the project, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or share this with MATs who might benefit from this opportunity.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020SME programme for open and disruptive innovation under grant agreement №733984.