We’ll all be missing a trick if older teachers leave

Often treated with suspicion by an education system seemingly geared towards younger staff, classroom teachers over 50 years old are being driven out of the profession by squeezed budgets and age-related prejudice, argues Omar Akbar

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There is an exodus happening in education: teachers between the ages of 50 and 60 are leaving the profession in droves.

The proportion of teachers in this age bracket dropped from 21.7 per cent in 2010 to 15.6 per cent in 2016. Meanwhile, the proportions of teachers in all other age categories rose during the same period, and under-30s now make up 24.9 per cent of the teacher workforce.

What could be causing all these experienced colleagues to quit – besides the excessive workload, scrutiny and stress? The obvious answer may seem to be retirement. Yet, a closer look at the numbers reveals ...

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