Stayers: Why teachers stay in London Primary Schools

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Social Science


This dissertation examines the reasons that primary school teachers give for staying in challenging inner city London schools. These 'stayers' are unusual in the London teaching workforce where staff turnover is high. The first chapter explores the literature about possible reasons why teachers stay in the profession. It argues that there are clusters of motivators that contribute towards staying. Chapter Two details the methodology and methods that underpin the small-scale illuminative study that lies at the centre of this study. Eleven 'stayers' were selected and each was interviewed. Chapter Three considers the findings that show that the teachers had altruistic reasons for staying in their schools: they valued working with inner city children. However, the teachers produced a complex and fluid set of additional reasons as to why they remained in their schools. These reasons were not always clear cut and were sometimes contradictory in nature. As is discussed in the final chapter, further research of this kind may have implications for policies and practices to retain teachers in complex and demanding inner city schools.
Date of Award2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorMeg Maguire (Supervisor) & Justin Dillon (Supervisor)

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