SecWell - Second Career Teachers Well-being

Nowadays, many countries are facing the phenomenon of teacher shortage and of second-career teachers who join the classrooms after having spent time in different career fields and backgrounds within a prior profession unrelated to education. The project aims to explore the topic of lateral entry to the teaching profession and to identify education and training needs, and challenges faced by second-career teachers (SCTs).

The universities of Birmingham, Cologne, Florence, and Leiden are involved, firstly on the exploration of the phenomenon and of related factors in the choice of teaching as a second career with reference to the involved countries, and secondly on the design of support strategies that Higher Education Institutions can address to non-traditional learners aiming to teach as a second career, to support their well-being during the career transition.

Purpose and Significance

International literature and reports highlight teacher shortage as a serious problem around the world and recognise the significant contribution of SCTs to the educational systems, considering their motivation and their skill set. Nevertheless, very little is known about their career transition and how to support them, both at the university level (education) and at the school level (induction and professional development).

The SecWell project finds in the EUniWell Teacher Education Arena, which is working on the definition of common professional standards for European teachers, a suitable network and context to include SCTs on the EUniWell focus.

Implementation Method and Timeline

A qualitative research design is at the core of the project. The involvement of both non-traditional students who intend to approach teaching as a second career, as well as in-service SCTs from all partner countries, is envisaged per each country, collecting qualitative data via interviews/focus groups. Partners and representatives of non-traditional students and in-service SCTs will be included in the collaborative design of support strategies in Higher Education, based on the research results.

Start of the project: 1 May 2022

End of the project: 30 April 2023

Milestones: current scenario of teacher shortage and SCTs phenomena (July 2022); co-design of support strategies based on research evidence (January 2023); final dissemination event within the EUniWell project (April 2023).

Expected Outcomes

  • The definition of factors in the choice of teaching as a second career and well-being factors for SCTs focusing on alternative paths into the profession while preserving quality education and training,
  • the design of support strategies to be offered by HE programmes to non-traditional students aiming to become SCTs to meet their specific needs and support their well-being during the career transition,
  • the identification of key elements to consider in the design of an in-service programme to fulfill the researched needs of SCTs.


Daniela Frison (Florence)