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.

Name and address supplied.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today