A new study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies examines the different costs, and likely outcomes, of various routes into teaching.
In England there is a policy of increased school-led initial teacher training, moving away from traditional training in higher education (HE). Although the postgraduate HE route is still the most popular (approximately 40% of trainees each year), school-led approaches such as School Direct (more than 30%) and Teach First (5%) are growing.
The study uses data from the School Workforce Census, an annual record of the school workforce in state-funded schools in England, between 2010 and 2014. This allowed the researchers to track the progress of early career trainees. The key findings from the report included:
Five-year retention rates for primary school trainees in state-funded education vary from 58% to 68%, with School Direct (or its predecessor, GTP) trainees being most likely to stay in the sector.
Five-year retention rates for secondary school trainees vary more, from 37-44% for Teach First to 59-62% for School Direct.
This variation in retention rates means a variation in the cost of having a trainee “in service” five years on, from £59,000 to £72,000 for Teach First to £25,000-£44,000 for all other routes. However, Teach First trainees are disproportionately likely to teach in schools with the most disadvantaged population of pupils.
Retention may be affected by the relative pay of teachers and other local workers – higher local wages were associated with lower retention rates of teachers.
Source: The Longer-Term Costs and Benefits of Different Initial Teacher Training Routes (2016), Institute for Fiscal Studies