Primary Data Collection

Ethics and Confidentiality

Snapshot data collection: What percentage of the teacher work force are on parental leave?

By submitting this form, you confirm your permission to provide The MTPT Project with the following information:

Name of School:
Type of School: (i.e. academy/ independent)
Number of teachers on maternity leave:
Number of teachers on extended paternity leave (more than one month):
Your email address

By completing this survey, you are giving consent for your responses to be used to help to provide a set of primary data about teachers and parental leave.

To our knowledge, the governmental acquisition of some of this data is completed through the Schools Workforce Census. This is problematic as it is excludes a number of schools, including independent schools, and is not always completed accurately or consistently.

Furthermore, information gathered regarding maternity or paternity leave is not specific enough to indicate what parents are choosing to do with their time on parental leave.

Some important confidentiality information:

> The MTPT Project is an independent, volunteer-run organisation, lead by Emma Sheppard – a Lead Practitioner, mother and the ‘original’ MaternityTeacher.

> As a community organisation, The MTPT Project does not offer full data protection, which is why we do not ask for personal details other than your email address.

> By completing the survey you are giving consent for your responses, but not your email address, to be used by The MTPT Project.

> The MTPT Project would like to use any relevant trends or correlations shown by this data to provide appropriate provision, resources and support to The MTPT Project community, and also to work towards more family-friendly cultures in schools. Your responses, in collective form, will therefore be shared with third parties, but you will remain anonymous at all times.

If you have any questions about the use of this data, or would like to retract your response from the survey, please contact us. We will answer your questions as transparently as we can, and will not query your decision to retract your response.


Further Information

There is an increasing amount of data related to the issue of the impact of gender inequality on teacher retention and educational leadership, the teacher workforce and the gender pay gap:

  • A 2016 Policy Exchange report (p.17 onwards), which states that 23% of teachers in the UK are women aged 30-39.  The same age bracket make up 27% of the teachers who leave the profession every year (excluding those who retired).
  • The 2017 DfE Gender Pay Gap Report identifying 5.3% difference in pay between men and women in the education system.
  • The Office for National Statistics 7781 Quarterly Labour Force Survey, April – June, 2015 (referenced in Appendix 3 of Dr. Emma Kell’s doctorate thesis), which states that 46% of teachers have dependent children under 19; 44% of parent teachers do not work full time; 30% of teachers have children under 4, and 13% of teachers have children under 2.

There is, however, almost no data regarding the experiences of teachers on parental leave, and the impact of maternity and paternity leave on teacher retention, gender equality in educational leadership and the gender pay gap in education.

What we do not know, therefore, is whether the reason that the 27% of women who are leaving the profession has anything to do with becoming a mother or their experiences of maternity leave.  This area is such a data void, that we don’t even know how many teachers are on parental leave at any given moment.  The data that is collected through the Schools Workforce Census collates teachers on parental leave in the same bracket as teachers on long term sick, on sabbatical years, or working 0 FT/PT hours for other reasons.

The MTPT Project is run by a team of four volunteers, three of whom are on maternity leave, and one of whom works full time and has a young son.  Because of this, we are starting small with our data collection, and we would very much appreciate your help.