University of Twente Student Theses


Predicting teacher turnover in Dutch primary schools

Foss, L.M. (2020) Predicting teacher turnover in Dutch primary schools.

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Abstract:PROBLEM. The quality of primary education in the Netherlands is at stake. This problem derives from the national trend of teacher shortages and high teacher turnover rates in primary education. In 2020 the expected shortage is 2409 FTE which increases in just only five years to 6217 FTE. On the short- term schools have increased personnel costs because of high recruitment costs. Due to the high teacher turnover rates the quality of teaching is decreasing. On the long-term, this will even slowly impact the labour market of the Dutch economy in a negative way. GOAL. Since there is not much written about this topic in the Dutch context, the goal of this research is to study the characteristics of teacher turnover. Method. This research consists of two parts. The first part is a literature review which identifies the characteristics of teacher turnover in primary education. Based on this review a theoretical model is proposed. The second part consists of testing a part of the model. The data consists of 5993 primary school teachers throughout the Netherlands. The analysis that is used is binary logistic regression. Because of the mixed usage of assumptions in logistic regression, this thesis will conduct two logistic regressions. The variables that are included in the research are: gender, age, tenure, amount of schools, number of contracts, FTE and salary. Results. Based on the literature review the following topics are characteristics of teacher turnover: preparation/qualification, student characteristics, working conditions, personal characteristics, non- work factors, natural teacher turnover. The logistic regression found no statistical difference in gender. Teachers with higher age and higher number of FTE have a significantly higher chance of teacher turnover. While teachers with longer tenure, work on multiple schools with more contract and a higher salary tend to have a significantly lower chance of teacher turnover. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS. The first problem is that of attracting new teachers. First of all, it is remarkable that there is a large gender gap in schools. In this dataset, males represent only 20% of the dataset. It is important to identify the needs of male teachers to also attract them. Regarding attracting in general, schools should put more emphasis on the fit between teachers and schools. The second problem is that of retaining teachers. Teachers with a low tenure have a higher chance of leaving. This can be solved through a buddy system or a more creative solution a traineeship. A traineeship includes: building up experiences in different classes from different schools, working on a variety of projects, one fixed day for training/self-development and a coach/mentor. This is an attractive way to attract new teachers, it solves the skills gap of beginning teachers, and teachers can be deployed more flexibly. The 50+ group has a high chance of leaving which result in knowledge loss. They can play a role in this traineeship or buddy system to prevent valuable knowledge loss. Finally, it is recommended to use the model of characteristics of teacher turnover internally. A possible way is to translate it into a questionnaire which can be distributed by the school administration and must be filled in anonymously. Besides more qualitative data is needed to capture the motivations behind these findings. The output could then be used for improving policies based on data to decrease teacher turnover. THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS. Since there is a lot yet to discover about teacher turnover, specifically in the Dutch context, more research is needed. This research aims to inspire researchers and practitioner to put teacher turnover on the agenda. Propositions for future research are provided in the end of this research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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