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Opted-out sector is losing more staff

More teachers have been leaving grant-maintained schools and the turnover rate of full-time staff now tops that of their local authority neighbours.

Figures obtained by the Local Government Management Board disclose a rise in the number of people leaving both primary and secondary opted-out schools.

At the same time, recruitment rates of full-time permanent teachers to GM primary schools fell marginally while in secondary schools it rose by just over 1 per cent.

The statistics, obtained from more than 700 GM schools, question some claims made by the opted-out sector that it has been employing more teachers. For according to the LGMB, the turnover rate in GM primary schools rose from 8 per cent to 9 per cent between 1993 and 1994. The recruitment rate was less than 7 per cent. In opted-out secondaries turnover was 8 per cent while recruitment was 10 per cent.

London and the South-east saw the highest number of resignations of opted-out teachers while the lowest were in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North-west.

The main destinations of those resigning in 1994 were LEA employment (3 per cent), retirement (2 per cent) and other jobs in education (2 per cent), including 0.7 per cent to other GM schools).

More than half of the GM teachers who resigned - 57 per cent - were female. Around two-fifths of the teachers who resigned were in their forties or fifties, more than a quarter were under 30 and a similar proportion were aged 50 or more.

One in four of all who left had worked in their school for more than nine years - but the highest proportion of resigning teachers (39 per cent) had service of three years or less.

More than half were in receipt of 0 or 1 responsibility point, almost a fifth received two, and slightly more than two-fifths received three or more. Just 5 per cent of full-time staff who left were deputy heads and 2 per cent were heads.

The resignations hit key subject areas hard in GM secondary schools. More than half the leavers taught the sciences, English, foreign languages or maths. However, most of the new staff were recruited to these subjects.

More than eight out of 10 teachers who left GM schools were graduates, significantly higher than from the LEA (66 per cent).

The findings are based on information requested from 1,025 GM schools - 399 primary and 626 secondary. The survey had a 75 per cent response rate.

As well as turnover rates, they show that GM schools at that time employed an estimated 35,471 full-time permanent teachers, of whom 3,971 were in primary schools and 31,500 were in secondaries.

Primary GM schools employed fewer full-time staff than their local authority counterparts (89 per cent compared to 91 per cent) and a similar number of female teachers.

Again in GM secondary schools, the proportion of full-time permanent teachers was slightly lower (92 per cent compared to 93 per cent). Like LEA secondaries, half their staff were female.

They also employed marginally fewer temporary staff - 10 per cent of total employment in GM primaries compared to 12 per cent in LEA schools - and 8 per cent in opted-out secondaries compared to 9 per cent in the maintained sector.

Survey of Teacher Resignations and Recruitment 198586 - 1994, Report No 17 Main Report. Copies are available from the Local Government Management Board, 38 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NZ, price Pounds 10

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