School Workforce

The school system in England is facing a growing challenge of ensuring that sufficient numbers of high-quality teachers are employed in all subjects and across the country. Without a high-quality workforce, efforts to improve pupils’ education and learning

NFER’s school workforce research programme combines analysis of large datasets, robust evaluation, surveys and in-depth qualitative research to provide fresh evidence and insights that support improvement in teacher recruitment, retention and development. Our research aims to give policymakers and system leaders an accurate picture of the education workforce to guide effective, proportionate and well-targeted action.


Our evaluation work assesses the impacts of policies and programmes on teacher recruitment, retention, development and effectiveness, and identifies the mechanisms that underpin change. We undertake evaluations using a range of methodologies, including:

  • randomised controlled trials,
  • quantitative impact analysis,
  • surveys, interviews and case studies.