The work, aims and values of The MTPT Project are firmly based on available research pertinent to the issues that affect our community.  In almost every case, the findings of the reports, articles and blogs below, are backed up by anecdotal evidence from our MaternityTeachers, PaternityTeachers and school leaders across the country.  Use our Twitter account, Facebook page or contact us to share your stories.

Where we are finding gaps in current research, we are completing our own research, starting with our exploration of women aged 30-39 who have stayed in or left teaching.  If you are interested in supporting us through your own academic study, please contact us to explain how you think your Undergraduate, Masters, PhD or other research links to The MTPT Project’s work.

Below is a collection of links to key research reports that inform the work of The MTPT Project.  We hope you enjoy reading them as part of your parental leave CPD, academic study, or simply to improve your understanding of the issues associated with parent teachers.  If you think there are any articles or reports that are worth adding to this page, please get in touch with a link.

Teacher Retention and Recruitment

The Importance of Teachers: a collection of essays on teacher recruitment and retention

A very detailed report from the Policy Exchange on the causes of the teacher retention crisis, including the link between teacher shortages and maternity leave.

Student Achievement and Teacher Turnover: What is the Link?

Short report from the University of Bristol focusing on the negative impact of high teacher turnover on student outcomes based on a study completed in New York City.

How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement

The long form of the above report, summarised by Bristol University investigating the impact of teacher turnover on student outcomes in New York City (2012).

Evaluation of the Return to Teaching pilot programme

An evaluation of the relatively unsuccessful Return to Teaching pilot which ran from January to November 2016.

Maternity and Paternity Rights and Women Returners Survey 2009/10

A cross-industry report about mothers returning to work after maternity leave.

Engaging Teachers: NFER Analysis of Teacher Retention

A National Foundation for Educational Research article exploring the links between teacher engagement and teacher retention.

Teacher Turnover, Wastage and Destinations

A 2002 report from The University of Liverpool exploring the reasons for teachers leaving the profession, or leaving their current schools.  Lots of handy tables for data comparisons!

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A 2015 NFER report on teachers leaving and returning to the profession, and their reasons for doing so.

The Effects of Chronic Teacher Turnover on School Climate and Organization

A summary of two US based studies exploring the impact of high teacher turnover on schools and the indirect impact of this disruption on student outcomes.

Teacher Retention and Turnover Research Research Update 3
Is the Grass Greener Beyond Teaching

2017 NFER report on the destination of teachers leaving the profession.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Education Committee report on reasons behind the teacher recruitment and retention crisis and suggestions to tackle it.

Improving the impact of teachers on pupil achievement in the UK

A 2011 Sutton Trust report exploring the impact of classroom teaching on student outcomes.  This report is essential to The MTPT Project’s hypothesis that making the effort to retain and recruit quality parent teachers is beneficial for student outcomes.

Teachers Returning to the Profession

A National College report on barriers to returners to teaching and how schools can support them to help increase recruitment.

Teaching and Parenting

Shifting Identities: A mixed-methods study of teachers who are also parents

The 2016 doctorate thesis of Dr. Emma Kell (@thosethatcan) which ‘explores the influence of parenthood on teacher identity; the challenges involved in combining the roles of teacher and parent, and the benefits of being a teacher-parent’.

Is Teaching Compatible with Parenthood?

Statistics from an October 2017 TeacherTapp survey revealing the number of parent teachers in the UK workforce.

Navigating Motherhood and Headship in 21st century English state-funded schools

PhD thesis from Juliet Horton exploring the experiences of headteachers who are mothers.

Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination

Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Research Findings

A cornerstone report from the EHRC into the experiences of pregnant and working mothers.

Managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace

Detailed legal guidance and best practice on pregnancy, maternity leave and the return to work from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, including downloadable resources.

NEU Maternity Matters

Helpful guidance documents for schools and teachers from the NEU regarding legalities, policies and best practice surrounding parental leave.


Pregnant then Screwed

Collated survey findings, research reports and summaries from the campaigning body Pregnant then Screwed.

Contact with employer during maternity leave and return to work

Guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission regarding communicating between employer and employees during maternity leave.


#WomenEd: A Movement for Women Leaders in Education

A 2019 research report from Dr. Jill Berry and Dr. Kay Fuller about the impact of the #WomenEd network with significant findings regarding pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the education system.

The Gender Pay Gap

Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Education: a Leadership Imperative

The 2021 report from WomenEd, ASCL, NAHT and the NGA detailing the gender pay gap, which points clearly at a fiscal motherhood penalty in education.

Department for Education Reports Gender Pay Gap

The 2017 DfE findings on the gender pay gap in education and governmental initiatives designed to support its continued reduction.

The Fatherhood Bonus and The Motherhood Penalty: Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay

A 2014 American PhD study by Michelle J. Budig exploring the links between the gender pay gap, fatherhood and motherhood, coining the term ‘the fatherhood bonus’.

The Gender Pay Gap

An NEU blog summarising a number of pieces of research into the gender pay gap in education.

The Gender Pay Gap

Full 2016 IFS report on the gender pay gap available for download.

Pay and Progression for September 2017

A 2017 NEU members survey of pay and progression for the whole teacher workforce, which includes some interesting insight into mothers penalised because of the absence of maternity leave.  Full survey.

Tackling the Motherhood Penalty

Blog from the Fawcett Society about strategies to tackle the ‘motherhood penalty’ across all sectors.

The Motherhood Pay Penalty

2016 report from the Trades Union Council and the Institute for Public Policy Research regarding the ‘motherhood penalty’ across all sectors.


Pupil Attainment How stress passes from teachers to pupils ‘like a contagion’

A TES article summarising research from the University of British Columbia and Leeds Beckett University regarding the impact of poor teacher wellbeing on students.

Pupil Attainment Linked to Teachers’ Wellbeing

A SecEd article summarising the findings of Healthy Teachers, Higher Marks including an interview with Dr. Zofia Bajorek and Dame Carol Black.

Teacher Workload Survey

The DfE’s 2019 Workload survey, which includes information about working hours and working patterns amongst teachers and school leaders.

Healthy Teachers, Higher Marks?

A very thorough literature review focusing on the link between teacher wellbeing and student outcomes.

Working lives of teachers and leaders

A DfE study into the experiences of teachers.  Includes findings on wellbeing, workload, flexible working and pay.  

Pupil progress held back by teachers’ poor mental health

Summary of findings from a survey undertaken by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools at Leeds Beckett university regarding teacher mental health and its impact on teacher delivery and student outcomes.


No Job for a Woman?

Research conducted by NASUWT in 2010 exploring experiences of women in school leadership positions.

Women Secondary Headteachers: Pass it On

A summary of Dr. Kay Fuller’s research into the disproportional representation of female secondary headteachers, completed in partnership with the University of Nottingham, the Economic and Social Research Council and WomenEd.

Recent report from the DfE teasing out the information relevant to school leadership from the 2016 School Workforce Census.
Co-Headship: The Future Solution to School Leadership

An article by Jayshree Thakore & Natalie Tyndall, aspiring Headteachers at Barham Primary School, exploring the practicalities of co-headship positions.

Seven Strong Claims About Succesful School Leadership

A National College for School Leadership report (2006) about the impact of effective school leaders on student outcomes.

Gender and Headship in the 21st Century

A 2004 report from Dr. Marianne Coleman, published by the National College of School Leadership exploring barriers faced by female school leaders.

Parental Leave for Chief Executives in the Not-For-Profit Sector

A 2017 report collated by Society Search and Leaders Plus offering top tips for supporting and retaining charity sector CEOs who decide to start families.

Shared Parental Leave

Focus on Working Parents

The full CIPD report on maternity, paternity and shared parental leave policies at different organisations.

A detailed report from the University of Oslo on the benefits of paternity leave.
Only 5 per cent of new fathers opt for shared parental leave

CIPD article summarising statistics related to shared parental leave and the reasons for relatively low uptake in the first year that it has been offered.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Information and examples from the UK government regarding shared parental leave entitlements.

Shared parental leave: the impact on relationships

An article from Working Mums summarising the research of Dr. Katherine Twamley at the University of London, researching the impact of shared parental leave.

Flexible Working

Part-time Teaching and Flexible Working in Secondary Schools

A 2019 report from the NFER exploring flexible working practices in schools.

Flexible Teacher Retention and Turnover Research

A 2017 report from the NFER exploring patterns behind teacher retention and turnover, including factors linked to part time and flexible working.

Fathers ‘afraid to ask for flexible working’

A BBC article on research from the Women and Equality Committee into cultural attitudes to requests for flexible working from fathers.

Flexible Working Approaches

A mixed method review on teacher flexible working and recruitment and retention, including a rapid evidence assessment, analysis of job descriptions and school websites, interviews with flexible working experts, and case studies of promising practice.

Job sharing in the teaching profession

1994 MPhil thesis from June Smedley.

Flexible Working: The Experiences of Teachers

A 2016 report from NASUWT exploring the current attitudes to flexible working in schools, and the consequences of such attitudes.

Job sharing: the career experiences of women primary teachers

1998 Doctorate thesis from Carolyne McDaid.

Flexible Working and Work Life Balance

Detailed guidance from ACAS regarding ways to implement flexible and part time working in your organisation, including the potential benefits and challenges of different arrangements.

Flexible working in schools

Official government guidance and case studies on how to make flexible working an option for you and your school.