Nearly half of young teachers planning to quit over high workload

15th April 2017 at 00:02
Workload
45 per cent of young teachers say 'mental health concerns' have made them consider quitting

Nearly half of young teachers are planning to leave the profession within the next five years, according to research by the NUT teachers union.

A poll by the NUT found that “volume of workload” was the biggest factor making them consider their future in the profession.

The survey of 3,000 members aged 35 years or under found that 45 per cent said they intended to leave the profession within five years.

Eighty-five per cent identified “volume of workload” as a factor that had led to them considering quitting, with 45 per cent citing “mental health concerns”.

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) said they were working 51 hours or more per week, with 24 per cent saying they worked more than 61 hours a week.

Eighty-three per cent of respondents stated that administrative tasks added to their workload but did not contribute to the teaching of children.

One respondent said that in a typical week they had: “Five morning briefings, one department meeting, school detention to run, options evening till 8pm, morning breakfast meeting on accountability, star rota supporting behaviour [and] two break duties”.

“None of these demands on my time benefit my teaching or allow time for planning let alone marking,” they added.

Over three quarters of respondents (77 per cent) said that their morale had declined since they had started teaching, but 70 per cent said their passion for teaching had motivated them to stay in the profession.

Just under one third (32 per cent) of newly qualified teachers felt they had not received adequate support in their first years in the profession.

The NUT published the results of its survey on the second day of its annual conference in Cardiff, where members will vote on a motion condemning “the continuing excessive and unacceptable levels of teacher workload”.

Kevin Courtney, the NUT’s general secretary, said that young teachers had to be confident to say that a 50-hour working week was “not acceptable”.

“Mental wellbeing is a key issue for young teachers and a decent work/life balance is therefore essential to facilitating good mental health,” he said.

He added: “Young teachers are the future of the profession yet many talented and enthusiastic professionals are being driven away from teaching to the detriment of our children’s education.”

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