London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Women teacher's careers and promotion

Funded by:

the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Secondary Heads Association (SHA)


December 2003 — August 2005

Purposes and aims

The research explored occupational segregation by gender in three sub-sectors of education: early years, primary and secondary education. Despite the fact that they represent the major part of the teaching workforce, women tend to be concentrated in less well paid and lower graded positions and there are disproportionately few in senior and managerial positions. The research investigated the factors affecting women teachers'' career development, with particular attention to human resource management and equal opportunity policies.

Scope and location

The study intended to explore pre-school and compulsory schooling environments in England.


This was a qualitative research project drawing on data from 15 case study schools. In each school, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with women teachers, the head teacher and a governor. In addition, we conducted interviews with key stake holders and focus groups with women teachers. In parallel, we conducted desktop research and analysed documents informing schools'' human resource management and equal opportunity policies.


Identification and analysis of:

# The patterns of gender segregation in different educational contexts (early years, primary and secondary schools) and for different groups of women,
# Women''s levels of job satisfaction, their career prospects and aspirations,
# Factors perceived by women teachers, head teachers and governors as impacting on their career development,
# Human resource management and equal opportunity policies and women teachers'' perceptions of these,
# Dissemination of findings via: a final report, a research summary, and academic publications and conference presentations.


Project team

Becky Francis

Merryn Hutchings

Marie-Pierre Moreau

Jayne Osgood

Anna Halsall


Marie-Pierre Moreau —

Jayne Osgood —


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