Can recruitment of teachers aligned with school values ever be authentic? #BELMAS2019

“Leadership of Authentic Values-Based Recruitment in Schools: Implications for Teacher Retention”. Nolan, B., Webb, C., July 2019, Conference: BELMAS Annual Conference 2019 – ‘Educational Leadership for Social Change’. At: Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. 12-14th July 2019.
Since the turn of the 21st century, educational recruitment processes have evolved as globalisation has created a need for organisations to focus on attracting international as well as local talent. A distinctive global teaching labour market and enhanced teacher mobility have emerged as a result. Concurrently, a need for a reemphasis on values within education has been reported globally. In the UAE, the international school market is vast, and expanding at a rapid rate. The government has responded with Vision 2021; an ambitious set of goals that prioritize the development of a first-rate education system by the year 2021. A key issue challenging the vision is high teacher turnover rates, with official reports identifying figures up to 60% in some UAE schools. Subsequently, attributing adverse effects on the quality of educational instruction across the country have been identified. There is therefore an urgent need to define strategies in order to lower turnover rates and avoid further adverse effects. This study proposes values-based educational practices, particularly values-based recruitment as a key tool for educational leaders in order to improve teacher retention and lower teacher turnover. The 2018 study assessed the extent to which educational leaders in the UAE are currently engaged with values-based recruitment (VBR) practices and the potential for their application across UAE schools, with an emphasis on lowering teacher turnover. Mixed method research was conducted in which surveys and interviews were undertaken across four international schools in the UAE from April to June 2018. Responses obtained from educational leaders (n=10) during the qualitative interview phase and classroom teacher (n=142) survey respondents during the interview phase identified a strong correlation between values-based leadership practices and teacher turnover rates, explored through statistical tools including regression analysis. As a result, a model to support authentic values-based recruitment for educational leaders in Dubai schools is presented and discussed with an emphasis on increasing values-based recruitment practices in order to address high teacher turnover rates. This raises further questions as to how these findings may be of value to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis in the UK, and whether it would be possible to adapt the developed model for implementation in socio-economically diverse contexts where a values-based recruitment and education model could also respond to current and evolving challenges, which will be discussed at the conference.
Link to conference slides:
Brian Nolan and Carol Webb BELMAS Presentation 29th June Final

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