Teachers are the most important determinant of the quality of schools. We should be doing everything we can to help them get better.
In recent years, however, a cocktail of box-ticking demands, ceaseless curriculum reform, disruptive reorganisations and an audit culture that requires teachers to document their every move, have left the profession deskilled and demoralised. Instead of rolling out the red carpet for teachers, we have been pulling it from under their feet.
The result is predictable: there is now a cavernous gap between the quantity and quality of teachers we need, and the reality in our schools.
In this book, Rebecca Allen and Sam Sims draw on the latest research from economics, psychology and education to explain where the gap came from and how we can close it again. Including interviews with current and former teachers, as well as end-of-chapter practical guidance for schools, The Teacher Gap sets out how we can better recruit, train and retain the next generation of teachers.
At the heart of the book is a simple message: we need to give teachers a career worth having.
Table of Contents
1. The teacher gap 2. Teacher expertise: learning to cha-cha on a ship full of mouldy fruit 3. Teacher retention: why Abi and James now work in the City 4. Teacher hiring: sausages and lemons 5. Teacher motivation: you couldn’t pay me to do that 6. Teacher development: habits, coaches and caves 7. Teacher workload: auditing the hamster wheel 8. Teaching teachers: what policy-makers can do without waiting for schools 9. A career worth having
Rebecca Allen is Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Education Improvement Science (CEIS) at the UCL Institute of Education, UK. She was previously the Founding Director of Education Datalab, and is an expert in the analysis of large scale administrative and survey datasets. You can find Becky on Twitter @profbeckyallen
Sam Sims is a Research Fellow at Education Datalab and a PhD researcher at UCL Institute of Education, UK. He researches the teaching profession and has a particular interest in using linked survey and administrative data to understand how teachers' working environments affect their professional development. You can find him on Twitter @Sam_Sims_
"This is a powerful book that deserves to be very influential. Readable and searingly thought-provoking, The Teacher Gap offers an alternative view of professional learning and leadership at all levels to finally address the standards agenda. An absolute must-read for all those interested in the future of our profession." - Professor Dame Alison Peacock, DBE, DLitt, Chief Executive, Chartered College of Teaching
"The Teacher Gap has the potential to be one of the seminal works of our time. The impact of the book will be determined by whether we are willing to collectively rise to the challenge within it." - Stephen Tierney, CEO BEBCMAT, Blackpool, author of Liminal Leadership and Chair of the Headteachers’ Roundtable
"This is one of the most important education books written in this country in recent years because it gets to the heart of the biggest challenge our system faces. If you’re a school leader or policy-maker and you’re only going to read one book this year make it this one." - Sam Freedman, Executive Director of Participant Impact and Delivery, Teach First, UK
"I found The Teacher Gap optimistic and inspiring! It reinforced a conviction that we can and must make a difference in how we train, grow and support brilliant teachers within the structure of a "career worth having"." - Caroline Barlow, Headteacher, Heathfield Community College, East Sussex, UK
"I read The Teacher Gap in one sitting and genuinely thought it was coherent, well-written, pragmatically idealistic (or idealistically pragmatic) and very, very relevant." - Keven Bartle, Headteacher, Canons High School, UK
"The Teacher Gap is a fascinating and important book. Sam and Becky’s reflections represent an entirely novel and very significant contribution to the debate." - Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive Officer, Freedom and Autonomy for Schools National Association (FASNA)
"I think it is an excellent account of the state of the teaching profession expounded engagingly through narrative and analysis, with a strong overlay of good research to support the conclusions. It resonated with my own direct and indirect experience as a teacher and a headteacher in many places." - Ian Bauckham CBE, CEO Tenax Schools Trust