The Issue of Teacher Turnover at a Government Secondary School

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The education industry is similar to many other industries in that they face the problem of high turnover rates. When an organization has high turnover, it creates a tremendous financial burden as well as a loss of institutional knowledge.  Rather than focus on the core mission of the organization or firm, management must focus on finding and retaining talent that will usually need to be retrained.  In the field of education, it is important for administrators to understand what causes turnover within their organization so they can create strategies to combat this issue.  There is already a tremendous amount of academic literature that can help explain what causes teacher turnover and what can be done to address this issue.  Much of the research pinpoints certain variables that lead to high teacher turnover.  There are generally four distinct categories that these variables fall under principal leadership, student discipline (behavior), parental involvement, and teacher resources.  Even with this abundance of research available, there are still many questions that remained unanswered on this important issue and therefore the need for further research exists.  

An important step in the process of trying to solve this problem is to isolate each of these variables down to discover how much of an impact it has on the problem and then plan how to minimize the negative impact it has on turnover ratios in schools.  Of these issues, the one that administrators have the most direct control over is the leadership they provide.  The research question at hand then is: How can leadership from a principal improve teacher turnover ratio in schools?  The logical starting place for this study is to gather literature on this issue.  Other important questions this study should answer are if there are currently any programs or training that already exist that are designed for this issue.  If so, what type of schools are they used in?  How successful have they been?  Once this study is conducted an administrator can then plan on how to best implement the strategies they discover.  The other variables can also be incorporated into this research study.  The researchers should look to answer is there a relationship between how administrators discipline students and teacher satisfaction? In many school systems, teachers cannot administer discipline or do not have a direct say in how students are disciplined.  Another question to consider is the level of parent engagement with school personnel. Does research prove that parent engagement with staff leads to more/less teacher turnover?  The final question for researchers to look for:  is there a relationship between school resources and turnover?  School resources would need to be defined, as this is a broad topic, but they can include compensation for teachers, school programs, course offerings, and facilities.