Research into Teacher Training

This study was severely affected by the disruptions to schooling resulting from Covid-19 at a critical time of the research. The EEF therefore decided to discontinue the study. The evaluation team will be producing a report for us on lessons learned from the study to inform any future related research, which will be published on this page in Spring 2021.

Primary schools in disadvantaged areas with vacancies can recruit newly qualified teachers (NQTs) through a number of routes. Each has different costs and benefits associated with it. This study aimed to compare the outcomes for pupils taught by NQTs and explore the variability in the costs and other aspects of the training routes.

NFER planned to recruit 120 primary schools with Teach First teachers in Key Stage 2, and then recruit a matched sample of statistically similar primary schools with NQTs trained through either a university-based route such as PGCE, or a school-route such as Schools Direct. The classes taught by the NQT trainee teachers would have undertaken two maths assessments, one in September 2020 and one in June 2021.

NFER planned to also undertake qualitative research with teachers, schools and trainers from the three routes, and an analysis of the costs of each. Additional analyses would have included analysis of outcomes controlling for teacher characteristics. 

Why are we funding it?

There is little research undertaken on whether pupil outcomes vary when their teachers have been trained through different schemes. This quasi-experimental design aimed to provide evidence useful for both schools when making decisions about how to recruit new teachers, and for policy makers and funders. The cost analysis planned to build on work undertaken by the IFS funded by Nuffield Foundation looking at the costs of different teacher training routes. 

How are we evaluating it?

The study was led by NFER, who were responsible for recruiting the schools, as well as the impact, cost and qualitative analysis. It was an effectiveness study aiming to assess the outcomes in the real-world using a matched difference-in-differences design. All schools involved would have met Teach First’s eligibility criteria for schools in disadvantaged areas. 

When will the evaluation report be due?

A report presenting lessons learned from the study up to its discontinuation will be published on this page in Spring 2021.