More teachers seem to be changing jobs, or leaving the profession, than at any other time during the last decade except for the year when changes were made to the pension rules. Evidence to the Pay Review Body, presented last month by the two heads associations (NAHT and SHA), showed nearly 35,000 teachers changing jobs or leaving the profession. These figures for the calendar year 1999 come from the Employers' Organisation Annual Survey of Teacher Resignations and Recruitment.
The 1999 total of "movers" was 34 per cent higher than the figure for 1998 which, at around 26,000, was in line with the average for the last decade. But perhaps more significantly, more teachers than ever before were recorded as leaving for "employment outside education in 1999.
Although still only some 6 per cent of all "teacher movements", the total of 1,980 was a third up on the figure for the previous year. No doubt while the wider economy remains buoyant there will be a steady stream of disillusioned teachers looking to find new opportunities outside of education.
Evidence from a recent study in London, conducted by the University of North London, and also cited by the heads associations, put the figure for those leaving teaching in six London boroughs at around 40 per cent.
Together these figures go some way towards explaining the rise in the number of posts on offer over the past 12 months. They also show that across the country around one in 12 teachers was on the move last year.