Hi all, I have recently left teaching in FE after 10 years and am now working in tech company. For the last 2 years of my teaching career, I had various ups and downs, as is expected from the job but also due to the additional level of pressure there was in the Team Leader role I was working in. I was almost on capability, hating going in to work and decided to step down from the TL role to focus on teaching. I improved, avoided capability and started enjoying teaching again. Partly due to some new recruits in the team bring some much needed new blood in and partly down to just being a lecturer, so I enjoyed going in to work again. Then slowly there were some changes that changed my outlook again; my close friends and colleagues in the job left, colleagues who had been there years left taking much needed experience with them. The new Curriculum Manager came in and decided to shuffle the pack. The government constantly changing policies and slashing FE funding from the once great institution it was to the barebones shell it seems to be now. The years before that were good - I completed my PGCE, I managed to plan my lessons, I managed to do everything. Yes, there was stress but it was manageable but more importantly, the environment was enjoyable and what we as educators are ask. So I thought I still liked teaching enough to stick with it but if I hated my work place, I should try looking somewhere else. I joined another college, which you could say was almost a "frying pan/fire" scenario but the only way to describe it is, everywhere is a fire and there is no frying pan anywhere! The new college was ok, but they were just preparing for a re-inspection so the level of stress was just too intense. Everything had to be documented, every single student issue logged, Personal Learning Plans updated, SOW meticulously created, lesson plans completed using new and more intense templates. The job, something I had been doing for years, quite successfully I must add, reduced me to tears, I had severe anxiety followed by more tears in office. No job before has ever forced me into tears. When I was too sick to go in, and the Curriculum Manager had rung me 4 times on one night when I was off, I thought enough is enough - time to walk away. So I resigned before I had anything to go to but everyone was trying to convince me to stay, the principal even asked me to change my mind. He said if I ever decide to come back that I should contact him directly, bypassing HR. I was told by my colleagues, CM and the students that the students really enjoyed my lessons and I was best lecturer they had. That was the high I wanted to leave on. However, with the change in rules forcing teens into education till they're 18, the students that we were getting in the classrooms were not as high achieving as I was used to, as schools were keeping the more academically able. So the teaching was becoming a challenge, or more of a challenge. Then you have to contend barrages of information in meetings, with Deputy Principals telling you that you are no longer a lecturer, you are data manager. Everything I started teaching to achieve had been slowly eroded so that bums on seats, targets and tables were the focus. The reason I chose to post was to (vent a little!) but mainly to ask if anyone else who has left teaching has had doubts whether they have made the decision. I am going to miss the students who want to attend, want to achieve, want to further themselves but I am not going to miss the above stuff. The other worry I have is things like money, holidays and pension is not as good in the scary new world. I am in my first few weeks so this anxiety I feel is probably magnified. I have managed to catch up with some of my ex colleagues and they all say how I will not regret my move. I even had thoughts I might go back as it's what I know! And I never thought I'd say that!