Nearly half of teachers in role for under 10 years plan to leave profession

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5th April 2019 14:44 - Education

Nearly half of teachers in role for under 10 years plan to leave profession: A survey of teachers has found reports of impossible workloads, poor work-life balance and weak management is threatening the position of some UK teachers.

The poll of 1,200 teachers conducted by University College London (UCL) found that between 40 – 50% had already decided to leave the profession or were thinking about it, despite working as a teacher (including training) for less than a decade

The top reasons why teachers leave the profession

Three-quarters(75%) said they left the profession to improve their work-life balance - while 71% citied the workload facing teachers. 

Just over half (51%) said they had walked out on the profession because ‘teaching is making me ill’.

Other reasons for leaving included the target-driven culture (57%), Government initiatives (43%) and lack of support from management  (38%).

Speaking to teachers who were still teaching about what might cause them to leave in the future, 83% said the workload, with three-quarters (76%) thinking it might be down to finding a better work-life balance. Others said not feeling valued (58%), a target driven culture (55%), Government initiatives (47%) and a lack of support from management (47%) may be what deters them from staying in teaching long term. 

The report includes some of the words used to describe respondents’ workloads which include ‘unmanageable’, ‘unrealistic’ and ‘extreme’.

More than three-quarters of respondents said they work between 49 -65 hours per week, while just under that amount say teaching is having a detrimental impact on their physical health (73%). This figure is higher when it comes to the impact on mental health, where three quarters (75%) felt affected.

Looking back to what motivated them to wanting to become a teacher in the first place, almost 7 in10 (69%) said they wanted to ‘make a difference’, while 64% sought to work with young people. Half of the respondents polled were drawn to the profession through the love of a particular subject, while 38% had been inspired by a former teacher. Other answers included to have an intellectual challenge (36%), to be creative (35%)  and for a third (33%) the variety of work.

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