Teach­ers quit soon after qual­i­fy­ing, fig­ures show

The Guardian Weekly - - Uk news - Michael Sav­age

Al­most a quar­ter of the teach­ers who have qual­i­fied since 2011 have left the pro­fes­sion, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures that have prompted fur­ther con­cerns about the pres­sures on the vo­ca­tion. Of those who qual­i­fied in 2011, 31% had quit within five years of be­com­ing teach­ers, the fig­ures show.

The of­fi­cial rate of dropouts from the pro­fes­sion was pub­lished as the gov­ern­ment con­firmed on Mon­day that it would not be re­lax­ing the 1% cap been placed on teach­ers’ pay un­til 2020, de­spite pres­sure to do so.

Anal­y­sis of of­fi­cial fig­ures shows that more than 27,500 teach­ers who trained be­tween 2011 and 2015 had al­ready left the job by last year. It means that just over 23% of about 117,000 teach­ers who qual­i­fied over the pe­riod have left. The fig­ures fol­low com­plaints by Tory MPs that the schools bud­get needs to be in­creased. Jus­tine Green­ing, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, is known to be sym­pa­thetic to both re­lax­ing the pay cap and in­creas­ing spend­ing on schools.

An­gela Rayner, the shadow ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, who un­cov­ered the fig­ures, said they high­lighted the “sheer scale of the cri­sis that the Tories have cre­ated in teacher re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion”.

The Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion said the rate of teach­ers leav­ing after just a year had re­mained sta­ble for decades. A spokesman said: “Teach­ing re­mains an at­trac­tive ca­reer and the lat­est sta­tis­tics show around 90% of teach­ers con­tinue in the pro­fes­sion fol­low­ing their first year of teach­ing – this has been the case since 1996. The num­ber of former teach­ers com­ing back to the class­room has also risen sig­nif­i­cantly – from 13,090 in 2011 to 14,200 in 2016.”

Re­cent anal­y­sis by the Ed­u­ca­tion Pol­icy In­sti­tute found teach­ers in Eng­land are work­ing longer hours on av­er­age than in most other coun­tries. Full-time teach­ers in Eng­land re­ported work­ing 48.2 hours a week on av­er­age. It was 19% longer than the av­er­age else­where of 40.6 hours.

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