Why Career Development Matters For School Staff

Author: Antoinette Morris

Posted: 03 Apr 2023

Estimated time to read: 4 mins

Ongoing career development is crucial for everyone who works in a school setting, from headteachers to part-time staff members.

This blog explains the effect of career development on staff wellbeing and provides insight into how schools can assist in helping their staff develop. 

What is career development?

Career development involves identifying weaknesses or areas where you want to expand your skills and then taking steps to improve.

Career development typically involves the following: 

Self-awareness: Employees must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the skills they need to develop to progress in their careers

Goal-setting: Employees should set specific, measurable and time-based goals to help them learn new skills, address knowledge gaps, etc.

Training and learning: Employees engage in courses and programs that help them develop the desired skills and knowledge

In a school setting, career development might include webinars, in-person seminars, and completing in-person or online courses. 

How career development affects staff wellbeing

Regular career development opportunities can positively impact staff wellbeing and job satisfaction.

The following are some specific wellbeing benefits associated with ongoing learning and professional development:

Increased self-esteem

When school staff have regular opportunities to gain new skills and grow professionally, they're likely to feel an increased sense of pride and self esteem. 

Self esteem is a critical component of overall health and wellbeing. Low self esteem has been linked to severe health challenges, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Increased job satisfaction

Participating in career development opportunities like seminars and courses also helps school staff feel more satisfied with their jobs.

People generally want to work for (and are more loyal to) employers who invest in their professional growth and help them learn new skills.

When senior leaders give school staff chances to learn and grow, they’ll likely report higher employee satisfaction rates. They may also be less likely to leave their position.

Improved learning outcomes

This increased self esteem and job satisfaction can also lead to better learning outcomes.

When pupils feel more connected to their teachers and receive the support they need in the classroom, it’s easier for them to learn new skills and perform better on exams and assignments. 

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Why staff wellbeing matters in the current climate

Staff wellbeing has always been — and will always be — paramount. However, it’s especially critical now when schools worldwide suffer from teacher shortages.

According to UNESCO, 69 million teachers are needed worldwide to achieve universal basic education by 2030. By improving staff wellbeing and overall job satisfaction, school administrators and headteachers can get closer to achieving this goal. 


How to encourage career development among staff

It can be difficult for school staff with packed schedules and stressful careers to find the time and motivation to pursue new development opportunities.

Senior leaders who want to encourage career development among staff should consider the following approaches: 

Take an interest in staff career goals

One of the first steps senior leaders can take to promote career development is to take a genuine interest in teachers, staff, and their career goals.

In other words, those in leadership positions should check in with their employees often, find out how they’re doing, and ask about their long-term goals.

The more leaders know about their employees’ interests and goals, the easier it is for them to look for relevant career development opportunities.

Remove barriers to entry

Senior leaders should make it as easy as possible for teachers and staff to participate in career development opportunities.

For example, they could allocate funds to pay for seminars and courses, saving teachers from paying out of pocket to learn new skills.

Leaders and managers can also look for classes and seminars that take place outside of school hours or that can be completed virtually (such as webinars and online courses), making it easier for teachers to attend.

Focus on the big picture

Some leaders struggle to justify the investment in career development because they’re too focused on the upfront costs (as well as potential obstacles like finding substitutes while teachers attend classes or programs).

These concerns are valid. However, career development benefits for school staff wellbeing are too significant to ignore. 

Why Career Development Matters For School Staff

Looking to learn more about the effect of Career Development on staff wellbeing? Satchel is teaming up with education expert Jon Tait for a webinar on the role ‘Career Development' plays in influencing staff wellbeing. 

Staff Wellbeing Webinar Series: Career Development 

26/04/23 at 12pm GMT

This webinar will discuss:

  • Why ‘Career Development’ is important for staff wellbeing
  • How can we gather data on this area of wellbeing 
  • Actionable strategies for improving staff wellbeing

Sign up for the webinar here

Can't make it? Sign up and we will send you a copy of the webinar on the day