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Staff who quit to get a life

A THIRD of the teaching staff at a Reading primary have quit the profession this year, claiming that the modern teacher has no time for a social life, is bombarded with unnecessary paperwork and faces unfair pressure to raise standards.

Five of the 16 teachers at Moorlands primary, a 425-pupil school on the edge of the town, are leaving in frustration at what they claim are unrealistic demands on the profession.

In a letter to The TES signed "The teaching staff of Moorlands School" the remaining teachers list nine reasons why their staffroom "now resounds to expressions of dissatisfaction and frustration".

One reason, they say , is that there is no let-up in the paperwork. They also feel frustrated by constant government initiatives with "insufficient time, training and resources to accomplish what is expected". And they are overloaded with "inappropriate" curricula.

Two staff, Sue Morgan, a 50year-old Year 6 teacher and Tova Marquiss, 27, who teaches Year 2, are quitting in the summer with no jobs to go to. Year 5 teacher Andrea Wilkins left last September to bring up a small child. Clare Gunn left Year 2 before Christmas to do supply while she looked for work outside teaching. And Clare Marshall, in her second year in the profession, left last term to go travelling. None is to return to teaching.

The school expects to be able to replace all of them, but says the number of applications has slumped in recent years.

Ms Marquiss has been a teacher for four years. She says: "The job gives you no time for a social life in term time. I have to give up my evenings and half of my weekends to do marking and preparation. I want a life."

Anne Fairweather, the lower school co-ordinator, said: "Moorlands is a good school. If this is happening here, heaven knows what's going on elsewhere."

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