Four-fifths of teachers have thought about leaving the profession, reveals poll

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25th April 2018 16:17 - Education

Four-fifths of teachers have thought about leaving the profession, reveals poll: A survey conducted by the National Education Union (NEU) revealed that 81% of teachers who took part have considered alternative careers over the last twelve months due to heavy workloads.
 
Forty per cent of respondents revealed that in order to keep on top of their workload, they regularly undertake work at home, totalling more than 21 hours a week. Some teachers also said and that in some cases the workload was having a dramatic impact on their personal and family lives.
 
One teacher said she was ‘exhausted’ and that “great teachers are being driven out of the profession because they are burned out.”
 
Respondents noted that over the past 12 months their workload had never felt manageable. Just 15 per cent said that for all or most of the time they were happy with their work-life balance.
 
The survey, which polled 8,173 teachers, also found that 80 per cent clock up more teaching hours than the average number in 2016.
 

Similarities with NASUWT findings

The results of the survey are in line with similar research carried out by another teaching union, NASUWT, which found 65 per cent of teachers polled had given serious consideration to leaving the teaching profession over the past year.
 
The survey findings come as figures show teacher training course applications for September are 20 per cent lower than at this point in 2017.
 
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU said:
 
“If the government does not act decisively and soon, the recruitment and retention crisis will seriously damage our children and young people’s education.”
 
Education secretary, Damian Hinds has pledged to put teacher workload as a top priority since his appointment in January.
 
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
 
“Earlier this month the education secretary made clear that his priority was to work with the profession and ensure that remains the case by getting back to the heart of successful teaching, stripping away the workload that doesn’t add value to education and looking at other ways to help recruit and retain the brightest and best.”
 
DJS Research Ltd have completed research looking in further detail at the recruitment and retention crisis in schools on behalf of the National Audit Office. The report is available to view in our library of published research.


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