The costs and benefits of different teacher training routes

This study is the first comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of different teacher training routes in England. It will provide useful evidence for the Department for Education in its goal to improve the quality of teaching, as well as for schools and academics.

The researchers used a bespoke survey of primary and secondary schools, combined with administrative data on teachers and pupils, to evaluate the short-term impact of trainee teachers on schools’ effectiveness in raising pupil attainment. They also explored whether trainee teachers stay in the profession, and how they move across schools.

Importantly, the study documented indirect costs (such as supervision and mentoring) and benefits (such as reduced teaching hours) of taking on trainees via different routes.

The study took into account the possibility that different individuals – who may become more or less effective teachers – may choose different training routes. It addressed this potential bias by accounting for teacher characteristics in a comprehensive way.

The project's findings are presented in the IFS Report The Longer-Term Costs and Benefits of Different Initial Teacher Training Routes, published in July 2016.


Project details



Ellen GreavesChris Belfield and Luke Sibieta, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Dr Rebecca Allen, Institute of Education

Caroline Sharp, National Foundation for Educational Research

Grant amount and duration


1 May 2013 – 30 November 2016