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'Staggeringly high' numbers of teachers threatening to quit the classroom

Discussion in 'Personal' started by FrankWolley, May 29, 2017.

  1. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not good news for society? How damaging is it being taught by teachers who hate being there? And how will Brexit affect this, with EU teachers leaving/not coming to the UK?


    “Staggeringly high” numbers of teachers are ready to quit the profession, a leading education researcher has warned, as growing pressures placed on staff and schools make the job “just too big an ask”.

    Rebecca Allen, director of the Education Datalab think tank has become the latest expert to highlight what has been referred to as a “crisis” in teacher recruitment and retention.

    Children across the country are being taught by teachers who do not want to be there, but are trapped by their financial circumstances, Ms Allen said.

    Speaking at a General Election briefing on education, she warned teaching is now “incredibly difficult”, as staff are increasingly bogged down with paperwork and accountability tasks that are leaving them exhausted and unmotivated.

    More needs to be done, in particular to help new teachers, to stop them walking out the door, she said.

    Her comments come amid growing fears for teachers’ mental health, with figures from a teaching union survey last month revealing almost four in ten young teachers could quit the classroom within the next five years.

    In the survey of more than 3,000 teachers under the age of 36, almost half said mental health concerns could force them to resign, with heavy workloads and lack of support cited as key problems.

    Teaching in England is now “an incredibly difficult job” with school workers “putting in hours in excess of anything that people could imagine”, said Ms Allen.
  2. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Yup. The kids I teach are being taught by someone who regularly has to psych herself up to go into work, who is panicky and unhappy, and who would rather be doing anything else instead of be there. I'm fairly sure they know: the way I've been treated by my students lately has been kind, respectful and even affectionate (for the most part). We're struggling so much to recruit teachers in other subjects, especially the usual suspects of science, Maths, MFL, that students are talking about the recruitment crisis. They have very valid questions: why are teachers leaving? What's making them so unhappy?
    It's not them, for the most part. I've always enjoyed the teaching element of the job - the fascinating way you see minds open and develop - but the way that a few students ruin it through laziness (for which I am blamed) appals me, as does the attitude of pretty much all the adults from government to parents to SLT.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Doesn't this cartoon (which we've seen on TES before) sum up almost the whole problem?

  4. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    I love teaching. It is just all the other rubbish that I hate, Stuff like observations, data collection and analysis, initiatives, politics, pointless pressure and testing. Just to name but a few.
    Prior to the year 2000 little of this rubbish existed.
  5. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    This is utterly appalling, but predictable.

    The ASOS was there for teachers if they felt the workload was unmanageable.

    Capability is a tool used to prevent teachers moving up the pay scale, keep everyone anxious or to bully teachers out. It was supposed to be a mechanism to support CPD of weaker teachers to either improve or leave, but fairly.

    The work load is immense, the GCSE and A Level courses change randomly, funding is removed through MAT's, new funding formulas etc.

    Is anyone surprised?

    Do Voters care?
  6. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Moony, Lara mfl 05 and nomad like this.
  7. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    It started in FE., during the very early 90's when Incorporation was forced upon all Colleges and the staff.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  8. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    That's why I left
    Lara mfl 05, Mangleworzle and nomad like this.
  9. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    Bullying by SLT, kids and parents. Workload. Fear. Ridiculous expectations. I was a wreck before I even got in the car. I have just recently been into classes in special schools on a VERY temporary basis. The children are delightful, the TAs are awesome and it's very rewarding. I cannot see me ever going back to a mainstream classroom permanently again however. The thought of it gives me palpitations.
  10. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    Teachers spend a lot of time proving what they're doing rather than doing it.

    Unfortunately, education is not the only sector to which this applies.
  11. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I think there is still a residue of people who feel that teachers have it easy- short days, long holidays yada yada.

    Unless and until it starts to affect them directly, most won't care, BUT, it is now beginning to affect them directly. They are seeing budget cuts and the impact, they are starting to realise that unqualified or non specialist staff are being drafted in to plug the gaps.

    The tipping point is coming.
  12. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    There's an article in The Guardian at the moment about primary school pupils cleaning the classrooms at the end of the day to save money; there's a large proportion of comments arguing that (a) teachers only work for 5 hours a day and therefore they should be used as cleaning staff at the end of the day along with the pupils because they need to make up for their lack of 'real' work during the day, and (b) kids in some Asian countries do it and it doesn't do them any harm.
    One chap was arguing merrily, in the face of overwhelming opposition from real teachers, that we re-use lesson plans so don't need to do any planning, that marking should only take minutes if you do it properly, that the three hours 'extra' (as we only work 5 hours a day in the classroom) that people in 'the real world' work should be used for preparation and other stuff. He could not seem to grasp that the curriculum has changed, that paperwork, reports, emails, meetings, training, data analysis etc. takes time.

    I genuinely think that unless you are married to, live with or are friends with a teacher and see the hours worked in an average week that it's hard to believe that the additional nonsense (i.e. anything that doesn't directly impact on classroom practice) takes twice as long as the teaching, planning and preparation.
    blazer, foxtail3, sabrinakat and 3 others like this.
  13. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Actually most of this exists in some form in non-teaching jobs. Those leaving teaching hoping to escape such things will be disappointed.

    But there are some big differences.

    The first being behaviour, is it my imagination but has the general standard of behaviour fallen in recent years?. Not so much the major issues but the amount of rudeness and ignoring instructions. In every other job it is just not tolerated, I now work with a couple of ex-squaddies who are exceedingly rude to each other but the politess people I have met when addressing other work colleagues.

    Secondly, as in schools there are good and poor managers. But they all treat their fellow workers as adults, some of the members of SLT I encountered over the years couldn't tell the difference between children and the adults in a school environment. Shock, horror story "in an adult working environment you are allowed to pop around the local shop during any breaks you take :eek:"

    I hope that I will never return to the classroom.
  14. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    I handed in my notice last week. I already feel better (although I will soon have money worries). I also worry about the long term affects teaching will have had on my health.
  15. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I am not sure its a Brexit issue.rather a failure of continued governments to tackle the issues surrounding teaching. We have always have teachers from abroad in our classrooms, they used to come in cyclical ways.Australian,New Zealand,Sth Africans,Indians etc,......so the idea of them being there is not new but has existed since the 1980's. The arrival of European teacher is but a new area of gaining staff to fill up the spaces. Yet ,when I taught in the 1970's it was rare to see overseas teachers unless they where here on a 'fact finding tour'. Remember those days when folks came here to see our system and we didn't worry about other countries progress.
    The difference is the change in politics, the changes in structure, the use of the tool called Ofsted to supposedly rise standards, the change in the way schools and teachers are managed plus the lack of resources and money to pay decent wages and equip the schools to teach effectively.
    I still maintain that there would not be shortage of teachers if the system was allowed to get on and do what its supposed to do.If All governments stopped meddling with the system for their political gain,if the change in attitudes and hiring, as witnessed by the stupidity of the likes of Gove, who made the firing of teachers such an easy process they now fear a call from the head.That good schools still are there is the wonder and down to the tenacity and bravery of some to overcome the problems the systems impose.
    Its not blaming Brexit for teachers leaving...overseas teachers always have in all the years I taught, but the real problem is to build a home grown system in which the teacher are valued and not scrutinized into mental breakdown and leaving.
  16. lyme

    lyme New commenter

    Morning all I have been teaching for a number of years and am just returning from long term sick. Whilst being off I have realised how much teaching has impacted on my whole life my health and relationships. I feel as though I have recognised this just in time. Since being off my life has improved considerably. I am managing not to salvage my relationships. My health and well being are so much better and I am starting g to recognise myself again. I love my job but my life is more important. I am looking for a way of continuing to work and maintain what I have achieved over the past six months. If I manage to achieve what I would like I will lose a considerable amount of money but gain peace of mind and contentment. the sad thing about returning to work has been looking at colleagues and recognising the behaviours that made me poorly and detached from my family and friends. I want to tell everyone to be careful but know it's not my place. I have also been a professional mentor for student teachers and so championed the profession. I would still do that but with s health warning........
  17. lyme

    lyme New commenter

    I haven't handed my notice in.....yet but applied to reduce my hours of this doesn't work I will resign. I was also worried about money but after much thought decided quality of life isn't the same as 'quality' of life....if that makes sense? I can cut my cloth with a smile on my face. I'm sure you'll be fine wishing you much luck
    Anonymity and dunnocks like this.
  18. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Maybe we need til this generation of kids are voting for things to change. A sad thought that it would take that but I've suspected for a while, as have many others no doubt, that things will get worse before they get better.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  19. bonkers 704

    bonkers 704 Lead commenter

    My daughter has a first class Honours Degree in French & Italian. She is preternaturally hardworking, very enthusiastic and organised. She is coming to the end of her PGCE. She has no intention of seeking a teaching job. Instead, laden with her debt which stands at £58,000, she is looking for TA or administration jobs. This is, in my view an utter tragedy for the country, if the current state of our education system means that it cannot recruit or retain high quality graduates like my daughter. We MUST, as a society look again at the terms and conditions which prevail in our schools, and either we address and improve them, or our children will face being taught by barely-qualified wage slaves.
  20. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Yep, whilst I recovered from my WRS a few years ago it has deffinately left its mark made me more susceptible to other things provoking similar reactions.
    Anonymity and slingshotsally like this.

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