Commenting on new research from National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), ‘Teacher Autonomy: how does it relate to job satisfaction and retention.’ Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) said:

“CST welcomes this report which makes an important contribution to understanding the factors affecting teach retention.

However, we are concerned about the use of the word ‘autonomy’ as a driver of teacher engagement. We believe It is better to think about ‘agency’ and ‘self-efficacy’ and understand how these relate to capacity and professional development.

We would not expect a doctor to want autonomy if that was taken as meaning they could choose any course of treatment for their patients, regardless of medical guidelines and good evidence.
As NfER recognises, teacher agency (autonomy in the report) is only one part of the picture for school and trust leaders, who are responsible for ensuring the quality of education. NfER acknowledges that leaders can and should shape what teachers do.”