Teachers’ Working Environments

Throughout the 2021/22 academic year, we are delighted to be partnering with Dr Sam Sims to offer all TDT network schools an exciting opportunity to be involved in an exciting national research project looking at staff satisfaction, wellbeing and retention. 

Alongside our own unique TDT Diagnostic Review, network schools can now request exclusive access to a questionnaire carefully developed by researchers at UCL Institute of Education, in which teachers will be asked about five aspects of the working environment which research has shown to predict teacher job satisfaction and retention. Like our existing survey, teachers’ responses are anonymous and school leaders will be confidentially provided with the results.

The research is in its second phase so on staff completing this (approximately 5 minutes) leaders will have both a detailed report of responses for their school plans and a scaled indication of how this compares to the schools involved in phase one of the research.

This second phase is open exclusively to schools who are working with TDT and will inform sector wide understanding of how factors of effective working environments function together, helping schools and organisations supporting them to plan approaches to continual school improvement through this lens. 

TDT’s own Culture of Improvement paper recently highlighted the close links between high-quality school working conditions and impact of CPD on pupil outcomes, and by engaging in this questionnaire school leaders will gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like for teachers to work in their school. The thoroughly validated questionnaire gives reliable feedback, providing actionable insights into improving staff retention. 

Following the second phase, schools will be able to compare their original data across a wider set. Data will be completely anonymised before being sent to researchers, so the reports generated will be confidential. The anonymised data from the questionnaire will be used by researchers at UCL Institute of Education to investigate how we can improve teacher retention, so by participating schools are also contributing to large scale research and system-wide improvement.

For more from Dr Sims, you can read his latest blog for TDT ‘Benchmarking the 4 things that matter for teachers’ working environments’ and find the full paper on this work via his education research site.​

Taking Part

Our Network team will support you in carrying this survey out at the most appropriate time based on your stage of membership. Get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like to schedule this survey this term. If you are not yet a member, click here to begin enrolling.

It is easy for us to set up and provide you with your unique link, and we recommend carrying this out before the end of term or in September insets. As with all surveys, an important step for avoiding “survey fatigue” is to ensure staff are both aware of how this information will be used and of any changes or key ideas that are built from their input. We are happy to arrange a conversation with you on considerations for this.

TDT Culture of Improvement Paper

Most existing reviews of professional development literature focus on the content and process of teacher development. They also tend to draw upon experimental studies based on large interventions. This potentially neglects important findings about how/whether teachers’ working conditions affect teachers’ improvement, measured in terms of impact upon students’ academic attainment, over time.

We reviewed 30 papers on teacher working conditions and school leadership in order to explore the impact of teacher working conditions on student attainment…

NFER Teacher Autonomy

“Autonomy plays a significant role in teachers’ motivation. Giving teachers greater influence over how they do their job has the potential to increase job satisfaction, which in turn is important in tackling teacher retention. At a time when the school system cannot afford to lose valuable teachers, improving autonomy, workload, satisfaction and retention could help address the teacher supply challenge…”

TDT Diagnostic Review

We use our expertise and research to help you to identify and successfully embed carefully-designed changes, powered by the growth of your people, that make your existing improvement plans work more effectively.

Use our diagnostic tool to identify your school’s starting point, build on existing strengths and benchmark progress against our evidence-based framework.