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.

chapter One|7 pages

The teacher gap

chapter Two|15 pages

Teacher expertise

Learning to cha-cha on a ship full of mouldy fruit

chapter Three|14 pages

Teacher retention

Why Abi and James now work in the City

chapter Four|17 pages

Teacher hiring

Sausages and lemons

chapter Five|15 pages

Teacher motivation

You couldn’t pay me to do that

chapter Six|14 pages

Teacher development

Habits, coaches and caves

chapter Seven|18 pages

Teacher workload

Auditing the hamster wheel

chapter Eight|13 pages

Teaching teachers

What policymakers can do without waiting for schools

chapter Nine|5 pages

A career worth having