Averting the Crisis in Trainee Teacher Well-being – Learning Lessons across European Contexts: A Comparative Study


  • Shaun Thompson Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Emma Clarke Bishop Grosseteste University https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8333-2905
  • Aimee Quickfall Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Jonathan Glazzard Leeds Beckett University




well-being, initial teacher training (ITT)), teacher retention, resources, challenges


Teacher well-being is frequently high-lighted as a significant contributor to poor retention rates. Whilst there remains a focus on the well-being of serving teachers and pupils, there is a paucity of research directly focusing on the well-being of trainee teachers. This pilot study sought to compare the experiences of trainee teachers from three European countries, in an attempt to identify the resources and challenges faced by teachers during their training. Through the use of interviews and visual approaches, key factors, which appeared to influence trainee teachers’ well-being, were identified. Through shifting the focus of training onto the development of communities of practice, the development of interpersonal skills, and supporting the development of strong relationships, it is hoped that Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes in England can draw on some best practice from other European contexts to better support trainee teachers’ well-being.


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Author Biographies

Emma Clarke, Bishop Grosseteste University

After teaching in mainstream primary schools for almost 18 years, Emma Clarke now teaches on a primary PGCE course. Her interests include research methodologies, approaches to managing behaviour, and challenging behaviour in primary schools. Her PhD thesis considered the tensions experienced by teaching assistants in mainstream primary schools when managing behaviour. She has presented her research nationally and internationally, as well as publishing both in books and peer-reviewed journals.

Aimee Quickfall, Bishop Grosseteste University

Aimee is the Head of Programmes for Primary and Early Years Teacher Development at Bishop Grosseteste University. Aimee’s research interests include; teachers who are mothers, teacher careers and life stories, teacher and teacher trainee well-being and learning community.Previously, Aimee was a primary teacher for 12 years, working in year groups from Nursery to Year 6. She was an Early Years Leader at a large village primary school in Lincolnshire, as well as working across the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2 in a school in Nottingham.

Jonathan Glazzard, Leeds Beckett University

Jonathan Glazzard is a qualitative researcher and uses a broad range of approaches, including narrative methodology, visual/participatory methodologies and more traditional interviews and focus groups. Jonathan's recent projects include exploration of head teacher resilience, teacher mental health and the experiences of teachers who identify as LGBTQ+. He is deeply committed to research which advances inclusion and social justice for marginalised groups and individuals.


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How to Cite

Thompson, S., Clarke, E., Quickfall, A., & Glazzard, J. (2020). Averting the Crisis in Trainee Teacher Well-being – Learning Lessons across European Contexts: A Comparative Study. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 12(Fall), 38–56. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v12iFall.1439



Empirical Article