Why teachers' careers are ending before they've begun

21st February 2014 at 00:00

I was interested to read "Leaving because they care too much to stay" (Comment, 14 February). Apparently, "attrition rates can be as high as 30 per cent in the first three years of teaching". What surprised me was that no mention was made of the role of mentors. I suspect that they may be the elephant in the room.

Despite a first-class degree, maths teacher training and a bursary of #163;20,000, I have resigned my School Direct placement. And the reason? Having to liaise with a mentor whose response to any difficulty was "welcome to teaching" and who seemed to have no enthusiasm for either teaching or their subject.

Talking to other trainees, I found I was not alone in having an uninterested and uninspiring mentor. I suspect that attrition rates, both pre- and post-qualification, could be improved if proper attention was given to mentor selection and training.

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