Recruitment and retention survey carried out by EPHA - November 2015

Saturday 28th November 2015

The recruitment and retention of staff is always a priority for schools, but local and national reports suggest that recruitment is becoming more and more critical. EPHA has conducted a survey to help inform and develop a strategy for Essex and 160 headteachers responded in November 2015. The results of the full survey, including a break down by Area, can be found on the EPHA website.


  • Trying to find good quality staff is becoming the biggest challenge.
  • Remote, rural, coastal, schools on fringe of London, and those in challenging towns are finding recruitment of teachers increasingly difficult or impossible.
  • An increasing number of teachers are wanting to work part-time, particularly following maternity leave, and then do not want to (or won't) take on additional responsibilities (or even that of a class)
  • Fixed national resignation dates during the year are unhelpful and lead to poor quality, rushed appointments, chasing a limited number of candidates.
  • Fewer deputies want to move into headship - put off by the workload, accountability and increasing job insecurity.
  • Headteachers are taking on more responsibilities due to the lack of high quality teachers, fewer wanting responsibility and those who do moving looking to progress in their careers.
  • Poor quality of staff from agencies.
  • Parents' expectations and demands are increasing as they believe they have more control over what a teacher/the school should do.
  • There is a need to sort out the bad press and constant interference by Government.
  • "Recruitment takes a huge percentage of my workload, when I should be in classes improving teaching and learning. At certain times of the year it takes up a majority of a week/several weeks."
  • "A significant difference in the last two years - both in recruitment and seeing teachers leaving the profession."

EPHA is working with the other headteacher assocations and the Local Authority to consider strategies to support schools and academies to recruit sufficient, high quality staff, and to retain and develop them successfully. If you have any views or ideas you would like to add to the survey please contact Pam Langmead, Professional Officer at

Pam Langmead