Addressing retention by creating meaning for teachers

Posted by Justin

question-mark-1175151-639x794A very interesting article by Bill Lowe was recently published in the TES weekly magazine that talks about how a business approach to managing a school would help teacher retention. From managing information with teachers to having a school vision and mission that teachers buy into, Bill Lowe refers to this as ‘Internal Marketing’ of a school to its employees.

We fully agree with this thinking but believe schools need to go even further than internal marketing. There is a real opportunity  for school leaders to benefit from business thinking surrounding communication to address the current teacher shortage.

The role of a business leader is to create a vision that motivates employees to bring their best to work every day. They do this in a way that helps employees feel valued and see the meaning in their work.

School leaders need to create meaning for their teams, parents and students. This starts with the ‘Why?’ not the ‘What?’. In his global best selling book ‘Start With Why’ Simon Sinek talks about how great leaders inspire everyone to take action. Are teachers forgetting their why and their reasons for wanting to teach in the first place? Is the huge amount of pressure and paperwork the reason for the teacher shortage? Are school leaders powerless in this?

Creating meaning through communication as a fundamental element of leading a school is the focus of our upcoming book – The Headteachers’ Guide to Communication Success. In it we talk about how a school leader can create or evolve a vision that gives meaning. Internal marketing is definitely a part of this, but so is genuine two way communication and listening. You can read more about the book at: If you would like to get in touch to find out more about creating meaning for your teachers please do so at


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