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1,400 new staff drop out

UP to 1,400 newly-qualified teachers in England have pulled out during their first year in the classroom, according to a new survey.

Research by the National Union of Teachers found that of the 20,000 who started in 1999-2000, 400 resigned during their probation year. A further 800 did not complete their induction and half a per cent, or about 100, of NQTs were judged to have failed - a rate which is far higher than the Government's figure of 0.1 per cent. A further one per cent had their trial period extended.

Poor support for new teachers in some areas and the stresses of the job were blamed. The survey covered a third of LEAs - employing a quarter of all NQTs.

Doug McAvoy, NUT general secretary, said: "These findings are deeply worrying for the future supply of teachers...It is likely that many will find other careers and not return to teaching."

resignation rate was higher in secondary schools than in primary.

The NUT figures are based on responses from a third of local authorities employing a quarter of all new teachers.

The rate of resignation was disproportionately high in some education authority areas. All newly-qualified teachers must complete an induction year. Once started, it must be completed within a five-year period and if failed cannot be retaken. The Welsh Assembly is consulting on induction.

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