London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Teacher supply and retention in London, 1998 - 1999

Funded by:

the Teacher Training Agency and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets


August 1998 - November 1999 (later extended to March 2000)

The Teacher Supply and Retention Project was started in September 1998. It was initially funded by the Teacher Training Agency (acting for five LEAS) and the LB of Tower Hamlets, (who joined the project after it has started, and funded their own involvement). We worked with six London LEAs to investigate teacher supply and retention. This was done through a variety of quantitative research instruments; a census sent to every teacher working in the six LEAs, a questionnaire to everyone entering or leaving a post in a school in each LEA, a questionnaire to Head teachers about the appointment process, a survey of advertised jobs. In addition a number of focus groups and individual interviews with teachers were carried out, as well as interviews with LEA officials, teacher union and Diocesan education authority representatives, and ITE providers.

A comprehensive report identified a number of immediate concerns about the supply and retention of teachers in London. It identified a high proportion of teachers who felt that they would like to leave (leave teaching, or leave London, or both). It identified a phenomenon of the 'short-term London teacher', who intended to only spend a few years at the beginning of their career in London, and then moved on. The report suggested that while such teachers could be valuable, too heavy a reliance on the group would create yet further problems for supply in the future.

We also produced confidential reports for each participating LEA, identifying their structural strengths and weaknesses, analysing the current staffing profile, and recommending courses of action in both recruitment and retention that might strengthen their position.

The project was extended for four months to continue data collection and analysis to April 199, when the subsequent project (Teacher Supply and Retention in 22 LEAs ) began.


Project Team:

Merryn Hutchings
Ian Menter
Alistair Ross
Dave Thompson
Dorothy Bedford


Alistair Ross -
Merryn Hutchings -


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