Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Education Sector

Teaching has long been revered as a vocation; a teacher should inspire young minds and shape future generations. However in recent years, an alarming trend has emerged with much fewer individuals opting to pursue a career in education, whilst at the same time, an increasing number of existing employees are leaving the profession.

Across the UK there has been a shortage of teachers as more retire and change careers without being replaced. In 2016, there were approximately 451,900 teachers employed in the UK. However, presently this number has decreased to around 438,000.

Education might be the industry impacted most by employee retention, as a good education is the foundation of anyone’s future career and aspirations. Given the importance of the sector in delivering the right talent for all other industries, it’s vital to understand why people are leaving as well as why they are hesitant to get into it in the first place.



Firstly the workload required can be exhausting. Teachers not only work during regular academic hours but also outside and after, marking papers and preparing for future lessons. This nonstop commitment can be stressful and overwhelming – not alone the additional stress caused by having to deal with poor students. 

After the pandemic, many people found that remote careers not only became viable but very accessible. Even the existence of online tutoring, a job still in the education sector, ends up taking teachers out of schools. During the time schools were closed due to Covid, many job seekers trainee teachers started to look for alternatives and if they found another job they simply never looked back.

Limited career progression

Coupled with the stress and often exhausting days, is the lack of opportunity for career development. Whilst this isn’t an issue for some, it is a real stumbling block for others – especially if they are a secondary school educator with a specialist subject, where they can remain for twenty to thirty years. This can lead to a frustration that builds up over time and results in an individual becoming demoralised with their role and the sector.

For those personality types that are very goal oriented, this can be a major blocker and unsurprisingly, lead them to pursue a career elsewhere. 

Mental health impact


Morale, and mental health are also critically important and have taken a real hit over recent years, especially since the pandemic, and have led to teachers quitting.

It is a massive responsibility to be educating and nurturing the minds of young people. Engaging with them, particularly over foundation subjects such as Maths or English where many students may not have the passion for them, becomes increasingly challenging. Over time, this can lead to an increased weariness and where young people don’t have the same passion for a subject is likely to affect the teacher’s energy to keep teaching it.

Lack of resources

Finally,  an increasing lack of support and resources can often lead to educators leaving their roles. Budget cuts have resulted in a decrease in the number of teaching assistants and admin personnel to support with the planning, setting up and delivery of lessons, increasing the pressure on the primary educator to cover these aspects as well. 

Key areas to focus on

To attract more talent, adverts need to showcase competitive compensation packages. Clearly demonstrating the benefits and salary of the role, especially any mental health benefits will be key to attracting the right talent.

Offering benefits such as healthcare and retirement plans will also entice high quality more experienced candidates.

In addition, increasing the fresh talent pool through actively engaging with universities and colleges to promote teaching as a rewarding career choice will help attract candidates.

In terms of retaining talent, finding creative ways to expand a subject specialist’s role if promotion is likely to be a viable option any time soon. Career development doesn’t just have to focus on taking the next step up the ladder, so providing opportunities for talent to increase their knowledge and skills in other areas will help keep them motivated and feeling valued. 


It shouldn’t need to be stated but failing our education system is also failing the other sectors and industries in the future. More support needs to be given to current educators and those looking to get into the industry. Any slight effort to make teaching a less stressful, more financially secure job and the sector will be full of eager applicants.

About Us

At Hiring Wizard, we have over a decade of success delivering optimised, fully branded recruitment campaigns using the very best job boards, achieving significant recruitment cost savings for a variety of businesses across the UK. 

Put simply, we are brilliant at targeting and attracting the right candidate(s) for all kinds of vacancies, delivering excellent hires for a fraction of what you might pay to a traditional recruitment agency. We utilise a state-of-the-art Applicant Tracking System and have even helped our clients with their Employer Branding and dedicated careers microsites. 

So if you’re struggling to attract the right talent from your job adverts or a recruitment agency, why not give Hiring Wizard a call on 0161 696 8899 or drop us an email at [email protected]? Our dedication to ensuring our clients’ adverts are seen by the best talent means we can deliver much more diverse, quality, and quantity, of candidates.