Teacher supply, shortages and working conditions in England and Wales

Researchers: Jack Worth

Project overview


This project will provide new analysis on the key trends affecting teacher supply and shortages in England and Wales.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers is a necessity for the school system to deliver high-quality education. The government has committed to reducing teacher workload and introducing support for early-career teachers. However, recruitment and retention trends suggest that teacher shortages are likely to intensify over the next three years. Shortages are worst in state-funded secondary schools in England, where pupil numbers are rising while more teachers leave the sector and insufficient numbers enter training.

The project will expand NFER’s Teacher Labour Market in England Annual Report. It will include comparative analysis of the teacher labour market in Wales, an in-depth analysis of variation within England, and the development of new metrics for measuring shortages.

Four research strands of work will answer the following questions:

  • What does the latest data on trends in teacher recruitment, retention and working conditions say about progress towards meeting the teacher supply challenge in England?
  • What does the latest data on trends in teacher recruitment and retention in Wales say about the teacher supply challenge there?
  • Are trends in teacher demand and supply leading to shortages? If so, how are they manifesting in schools and how are school leaders mitigating the impacts?
  • How is the supply challenge differentially affecting areas of the country, subjects and schools in challenging contexts?

Teacher supply continues to receive regular attention from Ministers, policymakers, the media and school leaders. Through eight written reports over three years and an interactive website reporting regional and subject breakdowns, this research will provide accessible and impartial information set within the wider policy context.

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Team


  • Jack Worth
    National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

  • Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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COVID-19 response

Nuffield-funded social scientists are conducting COVID-19 research in real-time, to capture people’s experiences of the social, cultural and economic impacts of the pandemic.