The proposed research project aims to develop new knowledge and insights that will contribute to national education policy debates in terms of clarifying the evidence around net inflow and outflow within the secondary teaching workforce, and the current proposals regarding remedial action to ameliorate future teacher shortage problems.
With this in mind, this research will address 5 key questions;
• What personal, labour market, and other non-pecuniary factors are the key influences in the individual decision to enter the teaching profession?
• What personal, labour market, and other non-pecuniary factors are the key influences in the individual decision to exit the teaching profession?
• What are the implications for schools and their students of these entry and exit decisions?
Following on from these core research questions, this research will then question;
• How has government education policy influenced these patterns in entry and exit?
• Are current policy proposals likely to be effective in resolving current teacher shortages?
Chevalier & Dolton (2005) state official shortages are measured through vacancies not a desired pupil-teacher ratio and as a result shortfall is a permanent feature. Between 2014 and 2015, the secondary teacher workforce shrank by 1.2%. However, the entrant rate of new teachers has continued to increase since 2011 to 10.5% in 2015 (DfE, 2016). Keeping entrants is a “major problem” (Burns, 2016) where 10% of teachers are leaving the profession, 25% of which do so within three years (DfE, 2016). These dynamics have occurred against the backdrop of de-feminization within the sector, the role of rising tuition fees, and state bursaries to increase the supply of teachers.
ESRC Data Sets
This proposal will adopt a mixed methods approach. The quantitative elements, covering Research Questions 1-3 will use the Understanding Society (US), LFS, and DLHE data sets, alongside School and College Careers and Employment data sets (e.g NQT Annual Survey). Modelling of the US and LFS will allow for selection into teaching being non-random, and this will form step 1 of our entry-stay-exit system of equations. Step 2 will then model the stay-exit decision accounting for selection. DELHE will be used to model the LM preferences of graduating students as they progress into the labour market and the implications for pay and satisfaction of their respective choices using a sorting approach. Qualitative elements will address Research Questions 4-5 with Head Teacher interviews and secondary policy document analysis (e.g DfE Statutory Guidance Reports).
In total, there are in the region of 440,000 teachers and 50,000 teaching assistants in the UK labour force of 33 million plus 3 million long-term unemployed and claiming disability benefits. This would represent 1.5% of the active working population. Taking the LFS as an example, around 2% of respondents have a teaching qualification. So using a pooled 6 year LFS sample, the proposed study would have in the region of 56,000 individuals with a teaching qualification of whom 14,000 would not be in a teaching position.
The comparable BHPS (US) data would approximate to 1,400 individuals with a teaching qualification of whom 1,050 would be currently in a teaching position. DELHE, for a single year, includes a total of 14,737 teaching and research professionals spread across schools, FE colleges, and HEIs.
The proposed study will have US as a central data set that is used to capture the dynamics of teaching careers. But by using multiple data sets, this research is able to add greater depth and insight into the life course of individuals who enter the education system and aspire to become teachers, then track their progression into and through their working lives. Further, this research will analyse their economic outcomes alongside broader measures of health and wellbeing outcomes (e.g life and job satisfaction) in LFS and US with a particular interest in those who enter-remain-or exit the teaching profession. As there have been some important policy changes during our sample period under investigation, this research can investigate the causal effects of policy shifts using Difference in Difference techniques.
Student Skills Requirements:
Essential: A 1st/2:1 degree in a relevant discipline.
Essential: Knowledge of statistics and labour economics.
Desirable; Knowledge of education policy and the education system.
Desirable: A Masters qualification at distinction or merit in a relevant field.