How School Leaders Attract, Recruit, Develop and Retain the Early Career Teachers They Want

Positives and Paradoxes
Part of the Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education book series (PROD, volume 16)


Attracting and retaining high-quality teachers to the profession is of international concern as it has far-reaching economic and social implications for all nations. In Australia, discussion of teacher workforce development has focused predominantly on attracting and recruiting quality teachers, with less attention given to the broader retention process. In this chapter, we discuss how school leaders influence new teachers and foster their professional commitment. Furthermore, we identify the micropolitical activities that school leaders consciously use to promote the engagement and retention of the early career teachers they want to keep. We also present data and analyses which reveal the dilemmas and paradoxes that school leaders encounter when they attempt to reconcile the competing demands of different stakeholders in the staffing process. We juxtapose the mostly benevolent actions of leaders with their often-unintended consequences to establish the need for ongoing critical reflection about the impact of taken-for-granted human resources processes on early career teachers.



This chapter is an outcome of the Retaining Quality Teachers Study funded by the Australian Research Council (LP130100830). Principals Australia Institute contributed funds and in-kind support to this project. The views expressed in this chapter do not necessarily reflect Principals Australia Institute’s policies.

We would like to acknowledge the contribution made to this paper by Dr. Peter Arnold, our Research Associate on the project, through his consistent coding and management of the transcribed interview data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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