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The retention crisis: a selective reading of the figures?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by lanokia, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter


    Ministers have accused Labour of "doom-mongering" after the opposition suggested that schools were "haemorrhaging teachers" because of excessive workload.

    Schools minister Nick Gibb faced questions in the House of Commons today, as MPs asked what was being done to improve teacher retention and recruitment levels.

    But Mr Gibb gave short shrift to criticism from Labour's shadow Treasury minister Rob Marris after he attacked the government over teacher workload.

    Mr Marris told the Commons: "Retention in teaching is a far bigger problem than recruitment. We are haemorrhaging teachers. That is caused largely by the adverse workload teachers are under.

    "Can you tell the House what specific steps your government is taking to lessen teacher workloads in England?"

    Mr Gibb replied: "First of all, the doom-mongering notion that he is citing is wrong: 87 per cent of those who qualified in 2013 were still teaching a year later; 72 per cent of teachers who qualified in 2009 are still teaching five years later.

    "You should stop talking down what is a very popular profession in this country.

    "Indeed, we are also tackling the excessive workload that teachers inherited from the previous Labour government."

    I've highlighted the two parts I feel are the most disingenuous. It appears that he is playing the old trick of quoting selective figures. Talking about teachers from 2009 isn't the issue in the retention crisis... it's teachers who've been in for longer, teachers going back decades, teachers with sufficient experience to see through all the BS.

    On the second part, I haven't observed any reduction in workload, and looking at 'workplace dilemmas' it doesn't seem that the reduction is having an impact yet.

    Or am I wrong? Have I missed something crucial?

    For my money Gibb is just a mouthpiece, a know-nothing spin machine.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  2. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    That old chestnut. Does Gibb not realise that it was the appointment of Gove as SoS for Education that tolled the death knell of our profession? The man is an idiot.
    drek likes this.
  3. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    I have just read this article and I'm really cross!

    I presume those are 'real' statistics and he hasn't just made them up?

    87 per cent of those who qualified in 2013 were still teaching a year later.

    How many of them are still teaching now?

    72 per cent of teachers who qualified in 2009 are still teaching five years later.

    Still teaching as what? Supply teachers? One day a week PPA?

    I want to know
    1.How many teachers have completed teacher training in England each year for the last 5 years.
    2. How many permanent teachers have left their jobs completely each year for the last 5 years.

    I suspect these numbers won't ever be released. Does anyone collate the numbers of teachers that leave? How is it known when teachers whether they've gone to go to another school or whether they've left altogether?

    I suspect that even when there's only one teacher left in the whole country, and schools are propped up entirely by supply cover supervisors on miminum wage, Nick Gibb will still be heard saying, 'there's never been a better time to be a teacher!'.

    There MUST be some statistics somewhere that reflect what is actually happening in schools at the moment? Where are they?

    What a load of old flannel about excessive workload having come from the previous Labour government!? Labour haven't been in charge for a long time now and the workload has increased exponentially in the last 3 years. Go figure!?
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Those statistics are in the public domain as are the Teach First statistics. I don't have them to hand but I recall referring to them in an academic piece not that long ago.
  5. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    There are no up-to-date figures to answer your question, however, 77% of NQTs that qualified in 2011 were still teaching in 2014. I don't know how that compares with other graduate professions: law, accountancy, architecture etc, but a loss of 23% of qualified teachers (ie 4738 teachers) within three years of completing ITT doesn't paint a very rosy picture.

    @MrMedia all of the data is available here: workforce survey 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  6. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    If anyone could link to them, I'd be interested to read them.
  7. TimeBomb2015

    TimeBomb2015 Occasional commenter

    workload? In 25 years in the profession I constantly hear the moans about workload.

    I simply disagree there is a heavier workload now than 25 years ago.
  8. TimeBomb2015

    TimeBomb2015 Occasional commenter

  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    When I started 12 years ago marking consisted of a grading, a few ticks, some spellings.

    Now it consists of a positive feedback comment [which has to be substantial], a constructive feedback comment [again substantial] and then a question which will push their learning from the previous lesson. We had to do those every two lessons. Oh and for homework.

    Plus spelling and grammar etc. So what once took 30 minutes, can now take two hours.

    Clearly you have a better experience than me. Happy for you. But the workload has shifted.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    You may notice that 'Timebomb' has only just joined this forum. Another dfe plant?
  11. TimeBomb2015

    TimeBomb2015 Occasional commenter

    Different schools have different expectations. I do expect good feedback, meaningful, plus the targets, but I also expect other things too, which used to be common but less so now.
    On another forum there's a query from a teacher about asking working hours questions before or after an interview; the poster said explicitly he won't offer extra curricular. Many have told him don't bother applying to their school - overseas forum - as it is a requirement.

    BTW: surely you do spellings via the kids? Marking each others whilst you read them out?
  12. TimeBomb2015

    TimeBomb2015 Occasional commenter

    Another work shy socialist union rep?
  13. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter


    I've been teaching for nearly 20 and the workload is unrecognisable from then. 'Data' as we know it now hardly existed-there was some vague nod at setting a target at the end of the year for KS1 for each child in writing, but that's about it-now that takes hours every half term.

    The marking policy was simple (tick- right and x=wrong) and any colour could be used, certainly no triple marking. This really did not take long!

    PRP didn't exist, so no paperwork was needed there.

    Planning was one A4 piece for literacy, one for maths and one for topic each work. Now it's one A4 page for each subject for each day-which has to be fine tuned for every need and evaluated in depth.

    What workload did you have 25 years ago, TimeBomb, and how does that equate to what you do now?
  14. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    No, just another ex-teacher who's left after 30 years to work in the private sector (non-teaching) where my skills and work are appreciated.
  15. TimeBomb2015

    TimeBomb2015 Occasional commenter

    Really? 20 years ago I was giving written feedback on a regular basis. I created usable data for each student pre sims using excel. Targets were and are the norm: levels have been around since the Thatcher era - remember Baker days?
    Planning was a long Sunday evening every couple of weeks, with enough key words and differentiation to ensure all students progress. Measuring progress? Yes, manual Progress in maths & English tests, not the easy computerised ones of today. Labouring over each childs test paper, referring back to their previous year's tests and mapping out which area of English and Maths they need further support in. Classes on 35 being normal, it took time.
    Just ticks 20 years ago? You must have been one of those dragging the profession down.
    Either you look to the past through work shy rose tinted goggles, or you didn't cut the mustard. I worked in outstanding schools then and continue to do so now and I don't see a significant change in work loads; if anything I leave school earlier now.
    I've worked in state and independent sector.
  16. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I want to know how many teachers have left after receiving the career suicide offer of 'support' from their school.

    No really Gibbs how many teachers were told with the support friendly tap on the shoulder that the school wanted to replace them with a cheaper 'newer but but but outstanding' teacher'. BS.?

    Then told the support was for 'real' and that they should take it in a 'positive' way to move 'up' a level.... yeah right! You mean beg and cry to keep your job?

    But if they actually stayed their lives were made not worth living. So go to hell Gibbs. In every school there are teachers leaving, we know the ones who slag them off behind their backs, were the ones involved in helping them out of the door.

    We've seen it all... So go teach your grandma to suck eggs Gibbs!
  17. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Drek - yep. I got the 'support' thing. Did I need it? Well I always got '2's for observations but last year one 3 because when I was talking to the class the observer notice that some pupils were fidgeting. Apparently it was a BfL issue!! Of course I was expensive, on UPS3 and needed to be replaced.

    Other colleagues in the same position were given 'support'. I hear now that they are now being subjected to more and more observations and scrutinies but hey 'we are trying to help you'. which actually means 'we are trying to make you leave'.
  18. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I doubt this is recorded... it SHOULD be... it should be seen as a damning indictment on a HT and on a school but it isn't and it won't be...

    Because the way it is presented to the public... it is a 'good' thing.

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