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How to retain IT staff and reduce teacher turnover

How to retain IT staff and reduce teacher turnover

Staff are key to any organisation. No matter what policies and procedures you have in place, if you don’t have the right staff to carry them out they’re worthless.

And even if you have the best induction and training programme in the world, high staff turnover is always detrimental as it takes time for newcomers to adapt and settle in. No more so than in the educational sector where staff need to support students as well as colleagues. A lack of continuity in teachers is never going to be good for pupils, and ultimately could cause parents to look elsewhere if your school develops a reputation for poor staff retention. But equally, if support staff, such as those in administration or IT, are regularly changing then this can have a direct impact on the happiness of your teachers and affect their retention rate too.

So, let’s take a look at the impact of high IT staff and teacher turnover and how you can reduce it within your organisation.

What is the retention rate of teachers?

According to a UK government report from April 2021, the number of teachers in England is not keeping up with the increasing numbers of pupils. In 2019 there were 19.1 pupils for every qualified teacher, compared to 17.8 in 2011. This has meant that teachers are more in demand than ever, and keeping the best ones is a challenge for any organisation.

And the competition doesn’t only come from within the educational sector - a report by the Education Policy Institute in May 2021 found that just 67% of teachers remained in the profession 5 years after joining, down from 72% in 2010.

Losing one-third of staff within 5 years of qualifying isn’t sustainable for any profession. The government is developing plans to improve this but it will take time. Right now, you need to ensure you have the greatest chance of keeping hold of your best staff.

Impact of teacher retention on students

If teachers are regularly coming and going during a pupil’s academic career it’s inevitable their achievements and qualifications will suffer to some extent. Whilst they will naturally have different teachers for different subjects, continuity especially during GCSE and A-Level years is beneficial as staff will get to know and understand the individual needs of their pupils and how they learn best.

A recent report from the Centre for Economic Performance backs this up as its key finding was that students experiencing high teacher turnover do less well in their end-of-school exams. Specifically, it found that a 10% increase in teacher turnover reduces student scores by 0.5%. This might sound relatively small, but apply it to a large number of students and you will have a significant reduction in your school’s overall achievement. Given that student results are crucial to a school’s success, it makes sense to invest in teacher retention to keep grades as high as possible.

How to retain teachers

Of course, money is an important factor in retaining teachers and other staff. But it’s not the be-all and end-all. A RAND Europe report found that workload, school culture and the teaching environment can be equally or even more significant. Many teachers are willing to trade-off higher pay and rewards to work in supportive environments with fewer challenges from pupil behaviour.

So whilst you have to ensure you pay a competitive rate, you stand more chance of keeping your staff for longer if they feel happy and comfortable in the workplace you provide. Ensuring their workload is always manageable, and that they have access to regular professional training and development will dissuade many teachers from taking another job that offers them a small pay rise.

At Counterpoint, our aim is to make school environments as supportive as possible for students, teachers and IT staff. And to help you show them that your organisation is the best place for them to be. By investing in the latest technology you can keep your IT team engaged and enthused as they’ll be able to run a smooth, efficient network with effective device management. Give them the opportunity to work with the best tools available and they’ll be much more likely to stay with you for a long time.

If you can keep your IT systems running smoothly, your teachers will be able to work efficiently and keeping up with their workload will be far easier. There’s nothing more frustrating than administrative tasks taking longer due to slow computers or network speeds, or even worse having to redo work after a data loss.

Keep your teachers happy and they’ll be able to dedicate their full attention to their students, ensuring they can all reach their full potential during their time at your school.

That’s why we have a full range of Apple Mac services to give your staff all the support they need to create an environment where teachers can have full confidence in the technology they use every day.

Look after your IT staff, and in turn, they’ll look after your teachers, who will look after your students, and you’ll have a happy, thriving school in great demand.

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