Academy chain teachers more likely to move to disadvantaged schools

CREDIT: This story was first seen in TES

Teachers moving within a multi-academy trust buck general trend by being more likely to move to a school with a more disadvantaged intake, TES reports.

Teachers working in multi-academy trusts (MATs) are more likely to move to a different school in the chain with a less well-off intake than their existing school, rather than a more privileged one, according to a new study.

The National Foundation for Educational Research said its findings suggested MATs could offer a mechanism for getting teachers into challenging schools that might otherwise struggle to recruit and retain staff.

The research also found that the level of staff movement within a MAT is particularly high if the trust has more schools and if they are clustered closer together.

The NFER’s study looked at government data on all teacher moves between state schools in England between 2010-15. It found that, generally, a greater proportion of classroom teachers and senior leaders move to a school with a less disadvantaged intake if they move, rather than a school with a more disadvantaged intake.

Schools with disadvantaged intakes tend to have higher turnover and more inexperienced and unqualified teachers

However, the study found that this trend is reversed in MATs, with teachers and school leaders more likely to move to more disadvantaged schools within their chain.

Schools with disadvantaged intakes tend to have higher turnover and more inexperienced and unqualified teachers. So the NFER said its findings could suggest MATs are taking a “strategic approach” to workforce management in order to place teachers where they are needed most.

The NEFR’s research also found that staff movement within MATs is “relatively high” and “concentrated among senior leaders”.

According to its analysis, the amount of staff movement between schools in the same MAT is more than ten times higher than the amount which would be expected between any two schools which are not in the same chain but the same distance apart.

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It found that larger MATs with geographically clustered schools have the greatest amount of internal school-to-school staff movement.

Larger MATs with geographically clustered schools have the greatest amount of internal school-to-school staff movement

Jack Worth, a senior economist at the NFER, said: “As the legal employers of all staff in their schools, MAT leaders have the opportunity to redeploy teachers and senior leaders to where they are most needed in their academy trust.

“Our analysis shows that they are making use of these opportunities by encouraging teachers to move within the MAT.”

He added: “It is particularly encouraging to find that teachers are tending to move to schools with more disadvantaged intakes, as these are the schools that tend to find it hardest to hire staff.”

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