What makes staff want to stay at a school?

Retention is a challenge for schools right now, but smart changes can make all the difference

Tes Marketing

Retain your brilliant staff image

Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions, but it’s no secret that it’s extremely challenging and stressful, too. In fact, one in three teachers is planning to quit in the next five years, according to a 2021 poll by the National Education Union*.

But our recent global wellbeing survey found that there is reason for hope. Simple changes to help teachers with workload, wellbeing and confidence can make all the difference — and we can help. Here’s how:

Reducing workload

Demands for better work-life balance are being heard across the working world in response to the pandemic, with flexible strategies such as working from home and variable hours becoming increasingly common. 

Our survey found this focus among school staff too, with good work-life balance ranked as the most important factor in their current or prospective role.

Reducing workload can feel like an impossible task, but with innovative timetable changes, you can make it a reality. With our sophisticated, algorithm-driven timetabling software, you can:

  1. Reduce planning time by increasing the number of occurrences where a teacher receives two or more classes of a subject in the same year. In this scenario, teachers might only need to learn or prepare the syllabus once, but for two or more classes, significantly reducing workload.

  2. Reduce teacher movement with smarter rooming (reductions of 25 per cent movement have been seen in some timetables). Saving teachers a few minutes of unnecessary movement each day can save days over a year.

  3. Create more efficient option blocks, allowing for fewer classes to be run, as each has more students. Having the same pool of teachers taking fewer classes means, on average, each teacher is then slightly underloaded. There’s also a reduction in the administration of managing more classes.

Supporting staff development

By ensuring that staff are given access to the training they need and the space to discuss, develop and work towards meaningful goals, with regular feedback, leaders are likely to see an improvement in teacher wellbeing, confidence and also student outcomes.

As part of our Staff Management Subscription, Tes Develop provides a single point of access to a vast selection of courses, covering professional studies and subject knowledge. With our subscription you can:

  1. Provide all your staff with unlimited access to our library of expert-written online courses in professional studies, subject knowledge, safeguarding and duty of care – tailored for both UK and international schools.

  2. Improve work-life balance by enabling staff to study at a time, pace and place that suits them and your school.

  3. Equip staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence to provide the best learning experiences and increase student attainment.

Giving staff a voice

Making sure that staff feel heard and understood is a top priority for effective leaders; doing so has been proven to improve confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness among employees***.

There are easy-to-implement approaches that can improve this, such as anonymous online surveys, which offer a safe space for staff to share their views honestly and openly (and perhaps let off steam if needed), enabling leaders to get a clear picture of the working environment and any issues that need addressing.

As part of our Staff Management Subscription, our wellbeing survey software Staff Pulse allows you to:

  1. Run regular, automated short surveys of questions developed by a psychologist. All answers are anonymous, allowing staff to share how they're feeling honestly.

  2. Track wellbeing trends across the year and develop action plans around any issues and pressures.

  3. Engage in anonymous conversations with staff by responding to comments, showing that you're listening.

Retain your brilliant staff

We can help you to reduce workload, give your staff a voice and develop their skills, and incorporate more flexible working opportunities.

* One in three teachers plan to quit, says National Education Union survey | Teaching | The Guardian

** Wellbeing Report 2022 | Tes

*** Improving and encouraging teacher confidence in out-of-classroom learning: the impact of the Hampshire Trailblazer project on 3–13 curriculum practitioners

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