Number of teachers quitting the classroom reaches 10-year high

30th January 2015 at 00:03

The number of teachers quitting the classroom is at its highest for a decade, official figures reveal.

Department for Education figures show that almost 50,000 teachers left the profession in the 12 months to November 2013 – the latest year for which figures are available. This is an increase of 25 per cent over four years.

This represents around one in 12 full-time teachers and comes on top of figures showing the number of entrants to the professions is falling.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said worsening working conditions was the chief reason for teachers deciding to quit.

“A combination of unacceptable number of hours worked, a punitive accountability system, the introduction of performance-related pay and being expected to work until 68 for a pension has turned teaching into a less than attractive career choice,” she said.

Concerns over workload prompted education secretary Nicky Morgan to launch the Workload Challenge last year, asking teachers to come up with ways to reduce their workload. The challenge attracted almost 44,000 responses and the DfE has pledged to take action.

The figures also show that there are around a third of a million people with qualified teacher status who are not working in schools, including around 100,000 who have qualified but never taught.

A DfE spokesman said: “Teaching continues to be a hugely popular career, with more teachers in England’s classrooms than ever before and record levels of top graduates entering the profession."

Read the full article in the 30 January edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

Related stories: 

Three-quarters of new teachers have considered quitting, survey reveals – 27 January 2015

Shake-up teacher training routes to tackle recruitment crisis, universities urge – 13 January 2015

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