Study reveals academy teachers are promoted sooner and also more likely to quit
A new study has revealed that teachers in the largest academy trusts are promoted on average three years sooner than colleagues in local authority maintained schools.
However, despite fast-tracked career progression, the research finds that they are also more likely to quit the profession.
According to the findings of the survey conducted by the Ambition Institute and the Education Policy Institute, teaching staff in “system leader” academy trusts, with 12,000 or more pupils, were promoted to senior leadership positions at an average age of 35. By comparison, peers in LA schools reached similar positions by the age of 38.
The larger trusts, which were found to employ “high proportions of new entrants to the profession”, also have the highest rate of teachers quitting the profession.
It revealed that the proportion of classroom teachers in place in 2015 who had left the education sector by 2016 was 18.7 per cent in “system leader trusts”; 16.1 per cent in “national trusts” of 5,000 to 12,000 pupils; 14.7 per cent in “established trusts” with 1,200 to 5,000 teachers, compared with 14.6 per cent in LA-maintained schools.
Commenting on the findings, Melanie Renowned, Ambition’s interim chief executive, said: “Every governing board, CEO and headteacher needs to prioritise taking care of their teachers and leaders. The evidence on exit rates shows that we cannot afford not to do so.”
The report’s authors have recommended that trusts support staff by offering promotion opportunities across their schools and develop specialist expertise by moving staff to roles at the same level in other schools.
Jon Andrews, the EPI’s deputy head of research, said: “This research confirms that larger trusts are well placed to do this, with these groups more likely to take on new entrants to the profession, and their teachers and leaders more likely to receive a promotion. However, we also find that academies are seeing higher workforce turnover rates.
“The favourable structure of multi-academy trusts means that there are opportunities for them to drive improvements in the retention and progression of teachers. Trusts should now look to capitalise on this potential, and contribute positively to workforce outcomes in the sector as a whole”.