Offering financial incentives to teachers – such as higher salaries and bonuses – could help attract high-quality staff to challenging schools, a report has suggested.

Giving financial rewards directly to teachers, rather than allocated to their school, could improve recruitment and retention challenges facing the sector, according to the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) review.

It comes as teachers are embroiled in an ongoing dispute over pay which has led to a series of strikes during this school year.

The EEF review, by a team of researchers from IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, explored international research on strategies for improving recruitment and retention of teachers.

It also found strategies to reduce workload and improve working conditions were associated with improved teacher retention, and heavier workloads were consistently associated with higher staff turnover.

A separate report, published on Thursday, suggests the number of job advertisements for secondary school teachers has increased by 12% in a year.

Secondary schools are struggling to meet the demands of growing pupil numbers and attrition from the profession, according to the report by the Teacher Tapp app and education data company SchoolDash.

The report, which monitored job advertisements and surveyed more than 8,000 teachers, suggests many secondary school leaders could not interview any candidate for a position due to a weak field while around two in five said they made a reluctant appointment to a position.

Both reports have been published as four education unions representing teachers and school leaders are balloting their members in England this summer over possible co-ordinated strike action in the autumn.

Professor Becky Francis, chief executive of the EEF, said: “We know that it’s great teaching that has the biggest impact on the learning of pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Supporting the recruitment and retention of teachers should be a central focus of any effective education system. But targets for teacher recruitment are regularly missed and a third of new teachers leave within the first five years of joining the profession.

“Today’s report is an important first step in our work to understand more about what can be done to attract teachers to, and keep them in, schools with pupils who need their expertise most.”

Julie McCulloch, director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “Teacher shortages are a growing problem that pose a significant threat to educational standards.

“It is clear by looking at the repeatedly missed recruitment targets and high level of vacancies that teaching is not deemed as attractive as similar graduate professions.

“Pay erosion over the last decade has undoubtedly contributed towards this and needs to be reversed, but it is important that this is applied fairly across the education sector.

“Targeted approaches will only serve to further demoralise those who are not deemed eligible for pay incentives and exacerbate other problems such as staff retention.”