A profession in crisis? Teachers’ responses to England’s high-stakes accountability reforms in secondary education


There has been a tendency to construct the teaching profession through a narrative of ‘crisis’ which places particular emphasis on high rates of attrition and poor wellbeing driven by a demanding work culture.

Drawing on qualitative data from a mixed-methods study, this paper examines teachers’ responses to reforms to English secondary education. It presents evidence that supports a ‘profession in crisis’ narrative with many of the research participants expressing negative attitudes towards the reforms and concerns about staying in teaching.

However, the paper also illuminates a counter-narrative that highlights teachers’ job satisfaction and their desire to remain in the profession.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2022.103778