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Past event

Exploring Recruitment, Retention and Region: the new three ‘R’s’ challenging schools in England

Online registration has now closed. If you want to attend this event, please email for details of how to register onsite.

It has been widely argued that teacher retention and recruitment for schools in England has moved from challenge to crisis over the last few years (NUT, 2017 accessed on 28/3/17 at UCAS has reported significant reductions in teacher trainee applications and acceptance over the same period (The Guardian, 2017 accessed on 28/3/17 at Latest figures report that 51% of teachers leave the profession within 3 years of qualifying (Try teaching, 2017 accessed on 28/3/17 at 

Regional differences in England have been reported as a factor for student attainment and school performance (Ofsted 2016 accessed on 28/3/17 at There appears to be differential educational outcomes for coastal, rural, city and small schools, which include issues of teacher recruitment and retention (Ambition Schools Leadership, 2015 accessed on 28/3/17 at

This one-day conference seeks to explore the new three ‘R’s’ in England’s schools that are challenging student attainment and school improvement – Recruitment, Retention and Region. This is a timely event that will share up to date research findings from leading academics and offer evidence based strategies being developed in partnership by universities, colleges and schools to enhance educational effectiveness.

Book your accommodation now:
Conference Hotel: Jury’s Inn, Plymouth – 15% discount with code BER17, applicable for 11-13 June inclusive. Book online at:

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09.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Keynote Lecture: Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University. ‘Regional Differential Effectiveness and Other Myths.’
11.00 Break – refreshments
11.15 Symposium One: ‘Exploring the Impact of Regional Difference on Schools in England.’

Paper 1: Lee Northern – HMI, Ofsted
‘Inspection outcomes and regional differences.’

Paper 2: Lucy Stokes (Jake Anders, Michele Bernini and Helen Bewley) – National Institute of Economic Social Research
‘Understanding school performance in coastal communities.’

Paper 3: Dr Tanya Ovenden-Hope and Dr Rowena Passy – Plymouth University and The Cornwall College Group
‘Education isolation: the challenges for coastal and rural schools in England.’

Paper 4:  Dr Ian Luke – University of St Mark and St Johns
‘Big ideas about small schools.’

13.00 Lunch and networking
13.45 Symposium Two: ‘Exploring Teacher Recruitment and Retention in England.’

Paper 1: Professor John Howson – TeachVac and Oxford University
‘Was the government correct to cut training targets?’

Paper 2: Professor Samantha Twiselton and Mr Sean Cavan Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE), University of Sheffield
‘Partnerships for Attainment: Harnessing the power of a region-wide network to improve teacher recruitment, retention and development in the Sheffield City Region.’

Paper 3: Dr Nicholas Breakwell – Try Teaching
‘The Graduate Internship Scheme: Supporting school, graduate and national workforce needs.’

Paper 4: Tanya Ovenden-Hope, Sonia Blandford (Tim Cain) – The Cornwall College Group, Institute of Education UCL and Edge Hill University
‘RETAIN Teacher Retention Programme: The role of continuing professional development for a resilient and sustainable 21st century teaching profession.’

15.30 Break – refreshments
15.45 Panel Discussion: ‘What does a decrease in teacher recruitment and retention mean for schools in England?’
Dr Sarah Younie, De Montford University – Discussant/Chair
Professor Stephen Gorard
Professor John Howson
Professor Sonia Blandford
Cat Scutt – Director of Research at the Chartered College of Teaching
16.25 Completion of evaluation forms
16.30 Close of meeting


BERA offer a limited amount of bursaries for BERA Student Members only.

  • Bursaries are available for BERA Student Members to the value of £50 towards travel, and complimentary registration for the event.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 200 word statement on why you want to attend this event. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Once approved you will be sent details of how to register online. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.