Trainee teachers with more friends are less likely to drop out of their training programme, according to new research.
The study also found that those trainees who had a stronger relationship with their personal tutor were more likely to stay the course.
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The research was conducted by the Relationships Foundation, Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT, the Open University and Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, and looked at the “social and relational factors” affecting trainee teachers' “resilience and retention”.
Working with more than 100 trainees, the researchers found that the more relationships a trainee had, the less likely they were to drop out of the training programme.
They found that “both personal and professional relationships enhance resilience, but when one aspect is limited, the other can compensate”.
Trainees with “stronger and closer relationships” with their tutors were more likely not only to complete the programme but also to outperform their peers.
Anna Richards, executive leader of Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT, said: “We know at heart that relationships influence the ways in which people cope with stress, access support and advice, learn, collaborate, and find fulfillment in their work, but it’s only by quantifying these things that we can properly manage them.
“We know now that certain relational factors make it more likely that some people will leave a course or the profession, and have begun to intervene earlier with the right support to empower trainees.
“As a result, we have already lost fewer trainees this year, and are confident that this is due to a more relational approach.”