This is a study that explores definitions of mid-career teachers in England and their retention and development, via a literature review, primary data collection and secondary analysis of data. They found that there is no agreed definition of mid-career teacher, relating to time in teaching, role and wider life circumstances and self-definition. Whatever definition is used, mid-career teachers are a heterogeneous group, with varying needs, career plans and commitment to the profession.
Whilst typically confident in their practice, their learning needs vary and are often experienced as unmet, especially for those looking for progression routes outside leadership and those with family commitments. This indicates that their potential for career development to benefit the profession may not be reached. The article concludes with suggestions for further study, policy and practice to improve understanding of this under-researched group.