Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Trying Out Teaching: Examining a new approach to tackling the teacher shortage in England

‘Trying out Teaching’ aims to understand undergraduate teaching ‘taster’ modules as a potential strategy for supporting more graduates to enter the teaching profession. The study is funded by the Warwick Policy Support Fund.

In England there is widespread concern about the shortage of schoolteachers, particularly in some regions, phases and subject areas. Ensuring that we have enough teachers within the system continues to be a pressing issue for schools and policymakers, particularly as we know the importance of high-quality teaching for the life opportunities of young people.

This study examines a new, potentially promising approach to addressing the teacher shortage in England, aligning with one of the Department for Education’s (DfE) current research priorities (DfE, 2018). Building on recent research in the field, the study will make a much-needed, original contribution by investigating a non-financial approach to improving teacher recruitment.

The project will focus on the relatively new strategy of undergraduate teaching ‘taster’ modules. The modules introduce students to the role of teaching, usually through a combination of practical engagement in a classroom placement and through university-based activities. These are becoming more prevalent in universities and are designed to give students school experience and encourage them to consider a career in teaching. However, there have been no studies so far which examine these programmes, their role or impact. Findings will be used to inform national-level policymakers about developments in this area with a view to contributing to ongoing policy and practice reforms.