PAY, WORKLOAD AND PUPIL BEHAVIOUR DRIVING YOUNG TEACHERS OUT OF THE PROFESSION

Fewer than a quarter of young teachers say they definitely plan to stay in teaching long term, a conference organised by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has heard.

Pay and excessive workload are the biggest reasons why young teachers say they may leave the profession.
Teachers aged 30 and under gathered in Birmingham today (Saturday) for the NASUWT’s Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference to take part in professional development workshops and receive support and advice.
A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Fewer than a quarter (24%) said they think they will definitely stay in teaching long-term. 6% say they only expect to be in the profession for another year;
  • Of those teachers considering leaving in the short or medium term, the main reasons were pay, workload, lack of work life balance and worsening pupil behaviour;
  • More than one in ten (12%) teachers say they spend more than 25 hours a week working outside school hours. 44% say they spend somewhere between 10 and 20 hours a week on average;
  • 44% say pupil indiscipline is a major issue in their school. Only a quarter say they feel completely supported by their school to deal with pupil indiscipline.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Young teachers are the future of the profession and it is vital they are nurtured and supported to remain in teaching.

“However, it is clear that for too many the increasingly uncompetitive nature of their pay, the relentless workload pressures and the lack of support to deal with pupil indiscipline may force them from the profession in the coming years.

“The number of young teachers leaving the profession within the first years of their careers is unsustainable. The NASUWT has provided ministers with an overwhelming amount of evidence of the problems and has put forward solutions which would address the retention crisis.

“Young teachers will continue to vote with their feet until decisive action is taken by ministers and employers to make teaching a sustainable and attractive life-long career.”

DfE TEACHERS WORKING LONGER REVIEW-A WASTED OPPORTUNITY

Commenting on the publication of the Teachers Working Longer Review by the DfE, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The DfE originally intended that its Teachers Working Longer Review would have reported by October 2016, so that its conclusions influenced the Government’s decision as to whether to maintain the link between the state pension age and the teachers’ normal pension age. The Review has over-run by two years and it has therefore not contributed to the Government’s review of the future of the pension age which took place in 2017.

“The final report is silent on the issue of an unacceptable and unrealistic teachers’ current pension age.

“The Review has taken place against a backdrop of continued, year-on-year increases in teachers leaving the profession, leading to the greatest teacher shortage crisis for decades. This crisis in teacher retention affects the whole profession, but is particularly acute in respect of teachers in the first five years of their careers. The evidence is that younger teachers are not prepared to stay in the profession until they are thirty, let alone a state pension age of 68 plus.

“The Report has made several recommendations on working practices such as the increased availability of flexible working. Even though these recommendations are not in themselves unhelpful, without any meaningful strategy to bring about positive change within schools the DfE’s final report has to be seen as a wasted opportunity.

“The DfE’s final report does not address the teaching profession’s concerns about an unrealistic pension age and the pressures associated with working longer. No one should be expected to work until they drop.

“The NASUWT will continue to press the Government for the changes to teachers pay, pensions and other conditions of service needed to end the recruitment and retention crisis.”