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High teaching staff turnover - common?

(85 Posts)
PasMoi Sat 07-Jul-12 20:44:51

What level of teaching staff turnover do you consider unacceptable versus inevitable?

Background - affluent suburban area, 80% of class teaching staff leaving this year and almost all specialised teachers, not a single member of the teaching staff in post more than 2 or 3 years. The head is there about 5 years and most of the long-term staff left almost immediately then. However the board of governors is standing by the headteacher who is not popular with parents.

Trying to work out if it's time to withdraw my DC from this school, which of course will be very hard as multiple school places are as rare as hens' teeth around here.

Are teaching jobs that easy to find?!

mumnosbest Sat 07-Jul-12 20:49:25

the only school i know of like this really went downhill after a new head was appointed. it would put me off both as a teacher and as a parent.

mrz Sat 07-Jul-12 20:49:52

Highly unusual IMHO

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 20:51:10

Is this primary orsecondary? What size school?

80% is NOT at all common to leave but if this is a time school and 80% is only a couple of staff members then it could be coincidence.

It smacks of unhappy staff which is sometimes down to bullying SMT. If you think inconsistencies in staff/staff continually leaving will affect your DC then definitely move them but make sure you tell the head why.

Teaching jobs are really hard to come by these days with often a hundred or more teachers going for each job so it certainly isn't normal to leave without job security. I did due to being severely unhappy with how things were run in my school. Best thing I ever did. I would raise your concerns with LEA, Ofsted and the school.

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 20:51:35

time school = tiny school.

Hassled Sat 07-Jul-12 20:51:43

I have to say it would worry me somewhat - 80% is a hell of a turnover and that's an awful lot of staff who aren't happy, for whatever reason.

But apart from the turnover - are your DC happy there? Are they progressing?

darthsillius Sat 07-Jul-12 20:56:38

My brothers school is like this. It's ofsted outstanding and house prices are more in its catchment. It's a big primary but huge staff turnover. He is longest standing teacher at 7 yrs. it's all down to the head who is an evil bully. Teachers often in tears in staff room, off with stress, leaving after one term etc etc

AbigailS Sat 07-Jul-12 20:59:41

Unusual, yes, but there may be genuine reasons. Staff leaving as partners jobs are relocating, promotions, sideways steps for different experience for career development, staff deciding to be SAHM, all jolly reasonable, but I doubt many would leave with these reasons in one go! If they are mostly specialised teachers maybe the budget has been cut or altered.

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:01:32

Sounds like my old school darthsillius!

I would bet that 80% leaving OPs school is down to something similar.

Fuzzymum1 Sat 07-Jul-12 21:03:57

Very unusual - we have 4 classes - the teachers have been there for 10, 4, 4 and 1 (NQT who replaced a retiree who'd been there for quite a few years) years, the HT has been there for 5 years now. The TAs have all been there for at least 4 or 5 years, and at least two of them were there when my eldest was at the school - he's 18 now.

crazygracieuk Sat 07-Jul-12 21:06:03

I know a school like that. The Head was apparently a nightmare which was why turnover was so high.

It resulted in a mass walkout by staff and the school being temporarily shut down. Once the Head quit, the school started getting better.

PasMoi Sat 07-Jul-12 21:10:14

It's a one form entry primary so I'm not talking about a tiny school. Other than the staff turnover, there are other problems admittedly - lots of use of supply teachers for no obvious reason being the main one.

Are the DC happy and progressing? Yes to the former - kids are resilient, discipline is largely good and the other children lovely - but it's hard to say how much of their progress is down to widespread tutoring and lots of home help by very involved parents which is probably filling the gaps.

Would Ofsted be interested? I thought they would want the BOG to act first..

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:11:40

They may or may not take notice PasMoi. It might bring forward an inspection which could be a good thing.

PasMoi Sat 07-Jul-12 21:12:29

(I am now getting paranoid that we'll turn up in September to find many other parents have removed their children and we'll be on the back foot with very unhappy DC).

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:14:07

Talk to the other parents on the playground and see how they are feeling. It could be that you use the power of parent force to get the governors to act.

PasMoi Sat 07-Jul-12 21:18:51

Ofsted recently inspected and found the school to be "good". That tells you everything you need to know about Ofsted IMHO smile

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:20:49

but they might need the information to be able to spot it Pasmoi. Heads are very good at covering up if they are treating the staff like crap.

Vagaceratops Sat 07-Jul-12 21:27:18

We lose at least 3 of our teachers every term. Losing 5 this summer including the assistant head and the head of foundation.

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:29:45

Why Vagaceratops? The usual SMT rubbish? It drives me insane that people think they can get away with treating people so badly in what is supposed to be a caring profession.

franticallyjugglinglife Sat 07-Jul-12 21:35:52

We had this problem at my dc's school. I am a governor, and you should ask for an appointment with the Chair to find out what action the GB are taking. We were managing the HT v hard and he left our school last Summer. The difference in the school since then is unbelievable - soon much better. So I agree, it's not normal. I would also get in touch with Ofsted and the LA if your GB seem complacent or unaware of the problem.

AbigailS Sat 07-Jul-12 21:38:07

In defence of SLT (I am one blush), sometimes we coach, mentor and support teachers to move their quality of teaching forwards, but they either don't want to or are unable to improve. As leaders we have to make tough decisions in the best interests of the children and by letting teachers coast we would be letting them down. If a teacher feels scraping satisfactory is good enough and we expect them to move to at least good should we agree to disagree, or insist they continue the support package?

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:42:50

People who felt they were being supported wouldn't leave though would they Abigail. There are good SMT members out there but I am astounded by the number of ones who think they can treat people in ways which is completely unnaceptable in the human race!

I have managed others and wouldn't dream of treating them like myself and others around me were treated.

AbigailS Sat 07-Jul-12 21:42:53

By that I mean, sometimes it is not failures of the SLT that force staff to decide to move on, it is the school looking out for the best interests of the children. We feel sad if we haven't been able to support that teacher in making the progress we want, especially after hours ( and £) of support, but it is sometimes a good thing for the children that they have decided to move on.

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:43:10

and of course high standards should be expected.

alphabite Sat 07-Jul-12 21:44:51

Of course it isn't always the fault of SMT but sadly it seems to be becoming more common.

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