Amid the challenges of teacher recruitment, the retention of early career teachers has become even more crucial for schools. Matt Walker and Suzanne Straw consider how the teaching profession can effectively support and retain early career teachers

It is well-documented that England is experiencing an unprecedented challenge in relation to teacher recruitment and retention.

With rising pupil numbers in secondary schools, shortfalls in the number of trainee teachers and increasing numbers of working-age teachers leaving the profession (SecEd, 2018 & 2019), doing more to retain teachers in the state sector is a crucial part of helping to address this key issue.

Recent years have seen alarming attrition rates in the profession. Of particular concern is the rate with which teachers are leaving the profession early in their careers – within the first three to five years.

Retention rates of early career teachers have dropped significantly between 2012 and 2018 (Worth et al, 2018). The first five years are the critical years when the right development opportunities, nurture and support can make or break a teaching career.

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