Home Research Housing the Teacher Workforce: A Scoping Review
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Housing the Teacher Workforce: A Scoping Review


Lauren Medlin, Scott Eacott, Catherine Gilbert, Katrina MacDonald and Christopher J. Pettit


Globally, education systems are faced with dual workforce crises: a shortage of teachers and a lack of affordable housing. Attracting and retaining teachers through improved renumeration, working conditions, and quality preparation have been central. However, initiatives to attract and retain teachers mean little if the workforce cannot find appropriate (quality and affordable) housing within commuting distance to their workplaces. The present study undertakes a scoping review of research on the intersection of housing and the school education workforce. Specifically, we examine the volume, variety, and characteristics of evidence through the question of ‘What empirical studies have been published on the relationship between housing and the school education workforce?’ Online databases were used to identify 23 studies published in 2000–2024 from Australia, China, England, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK, and the USA. Publications drew on a range of methods and housing was rarely the focal unit of analysis. This study finds that beyond establishing unaffordability through salary and housing costs ratios, and the peripheral inclusion of housing issues in studies, there is insufficient published peer reviewed evidence available to purposefully inform and measure interventions. Greater interdisciplinarity is required in research to highlight the complexity of issues at the intersection of housing (availability, affordability, and distance from workplaces) and workforce distribution. More rigorous data should be collected to support robust reporting on the state of housing for the school education workforce to deliver the type of evidence necessary to develop targeted and tailored interventions to improve outcomes for the workforce and ultimately students.

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