The Day the Teachers Quit #BlogADayMay May 4th

After running a poll on Twitter, this was the most popular 'Book Title Rip-off'.

To be honest, I'm not surprised. In October the Guardian reported that the fragrant Nick Gibb had released data showing that of the 21,400 teachers who began teaching in 2010, 30% had left the profession by 2015. Of that number 10% left within the first year. On top of losing recently qualified staff, the DfE have also failed to meet their targets for Recruitment to ITT, with only 89% of places filled.

On top of having too few trainee teachers to plug the gap, the Government has forecast the need to provide over 1,000,000 more places in our country's schools over the next decade. Too few trainee Teachers, NQTs and RQTs leaving in droves, Pupil numbers rocketing: doesn't sound great. Nobody can control the rise in pupil numbers, but there are reasons for the lack of new teachers, and the loss of current ones. Nearly every reason stems from the mis-management of our Profession by the current Government:

1) Pressure placed on teachers to achieve un-achievable results.
2) Constant changes to assessment and curriculum.
3) Horrendous workload, linked to the above.
4) Lack of budget, leading to too few support staff.
5) Lack of resources.
6) Poorly managed buildings.

The Government's response to this retention and recruitment crisis has been to cap teacher pay rises to 1%, continue to force through ineffective changes to assessment and curriculum, constantly move goal-posts for data, force Schools to become Academies (arguably removing LEA support). They have also blown £Billions on Free Schools, some have which have been under-subscribed and have now closed, they are throwing more £Billions at Grammar Schools (which arguably only support the wealthy), they have slashed State School budgets, probably to pay for the above. They have also blown £56million over the past five years on Advertising campaigns featuring exaggerated promises of pay.

Add to this the negative press Schools receive in the National Media, why would anyone want to be a Teacher?

I graduated in 2010. I am one of the 21,400 who has stayed in the Profession. I am lucky to work in a School where the pressure is eased slightly by my colleagues and the expectations of the SLT. Out of my friends who graduated at the same time, plenty have never worked in Schools or have already left the Profession. People who would have made fantastic teachers are put off by the workload, issues with behaviour, inappropriate expectations placed on progress in the class room... the list goes on. Even the best Teachers can be worn down by a lack of support and lack of work/life balance.

So what can be done to change this situation?

What promises should we be looking for in the upcoming Election?

Investment in state schools is a must. Teachers cannot work without support staff- an already difficult job would be so much harder.

Rewarding teachers for their hard work. Even just increasing pay in line with inflation. Or tie MP pay rises to professions like ours. Most teachers I know are not in their profession for the money, but should be rewarded for the work they do.

Alleviating pressure. Provide a clear plan for the next Five years of Education post-election. Set Assessment and Curriculum in stone so that Teachers aren't changing their work on a monthly basis to keep up. Lessen expectations and allow teachers to ensure that basic skills are taught well.

To paraphrase Whitney: I believe the children are our future, allow Teachers to Teach them well and let them lead the way.

Statistics sourced from:


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