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The latest DfE workforce data released in June threw up a range of Take-Thats.

The data, pertaining to 2022, tells us that 68.7% teachers who qualified five years ago are still in teaching - meaning that just under a third of this group have already left the state-funded sector.

The youngest teachers within this group were born back in 1995 when Take That’s “Back for Good” was a big hit. Remember it?

At Diverse Apply Recruitment we’ve been thinking about what it would take to get some of these teachers Back for Good? Or at least a little while longer…

There’s lots being said about getting graduates into the profession but nobody is talking about how we get former teachers to consider a return to school. Here are 3 suggestions that could support former teachers, and their invaluable experience, to return to classrooms:


🚪 Exit interview: At the point where individuals decide they have got to leave it - got to leave it all behind - no central body asks or records why. Nobody records the onward destination. Tracking this data would inevitably reveal so much about what can be done to tackle early departures.

Something as simple as a written survey circulated to leavers could provide real-time insight to target retention, at low implementation cost.

💼 Keeping in Touch Days: I’m thinking of this as a potential Territorial Army of teaching. Ex-teachers plying their trade in other fields could opt to take on six days (one-per-half-term) of paid cover work in schools to stay in tune with the cadence of school life and ensure a future return to school feels less daunting.

A clear con here is the lost capacity to the employing organisations, but many employers could see this as core to their civic responsibility.

💻 Flexible Working Database: A joined-up, national approach using advancements in tech to advertise even the shortest of supply assignments nationwide could persuade more and more individuals to keep looped in.

We are increasingly working with former teachers seeking a gradual return to school life. Whether it is just a few lessons a week, half days or full weeks we are making it easier for individuals to access the most flexible working options alongside long term career support. We will be rolling out a service to facilitate this approach as we move into our next phase of growth.


Of course so much is linked to pay and workload, and a return to teaching is not right for everyone but if there was a way back for Robbie with Take That, there is a way back for hundreds - if not thousands - of lost teachers.

If you guess now it’s time that you came back for good, a few lessons a week, part time or semi regular teaching and leadership work - get in touch, Diverse Apply Recruitment can help you today…

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