Dr. Rebecca Allen

Director of Education Datalab

Sam Sims

Research Fellow, Education Datalab


Teacher Learning Curves: how to increase the quality of teaching in your school

Experience is a powerful performance enhancer for teachers. Most people know that teachers improve quickly in the first few years of their careers. But why does experience play such an important role in how teachers acquire skill? Why do the performance-enhancing effects of experience diminish over time? And what can schools do to increase and extend the returns to experience? In this talk, we present material from our forthcoming book, The Teacher Gap, which provides a framework for thinking about and improving teacher quality in your school.


Rebecca Allen is Director of Education Datalab and an expert in the analysis of large scale administrative and survey datasets, including the National Pupil Database and School Workforce Census. Her research explores the impact of government reforms on school behaviour, with a particular focus on accountability and teacher labour markets.

Sam Sims is a Researcher at Education Datalab. His research focuses on how we can better attract, train and retain teachers and he is currently completing a PhD on the economics of the teacher labour market at the UCL Institute of Education.

Blog: educationdatalab.org.uk