Presented by Professor Alan Felstead (Cardiff University)

This talk is based on research commissioned by the National Education Union. It draws on two sources of data: information collected from 6,841 teachers and teaching assistants who took part in an online job quality quiz ( carried out either side of the pandemic; and a specially conducted survey of NEU members comprising 15,584 responses. The results show that:

  • Job quality is worse in schools where staff are expecting a school inspection, and in schools located in areas of high social deprivation.
  • The job quality of teaching professionals has barely changed since the pandemic and has, in some respects, worsened.
  • However, the job quality of comparable occupations has improved.  Working conditions in schools have therefore worsened in relative terms.
  • Teaching is both a rewarding and demanding job, but the findings of this research suggest that it is becoming even more demanding.  Without change, it will be difficult to tackle the acute recruitment and retention crisis facing the sector.

The full results of the research were published in July 2023 and are available online.


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