Teachers in Disadvantaged Primary Schools

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 will compare the outcomes for pupils taught by NQTs, and explore the variability in the costs and other aspects of the training routes.

Teach First will recruit at least 100 primary schools with Teach First teachers in Key Stage 2, and NFER will 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 trainee teachers will undertake a maths assessment at the beginning or the end of the academic year.

NFER will also undertake qualitative research with teacher, schools and trainers from the three routes, and an analysis of the costs of each. Additional analyses will include 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 aims to provide evidence that will be useful for both schools when making decisions about how to recruit new teachers, and for policy makers and funders. The cost analysis will 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 project is led by NFER who will be responsible for recruiting the schools (other than those supplied by Teach First) and overseeing the tests, as well as the impact, cost and qualitative analysis. It is an effectiveness study aiming to assess the outcomes in the real-world using a matched difference-in-differences design. All schools involved will meet Teach First’s eligibility criteria for schools in disadvantaged areas. 

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Summer 2022.