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Teacher retention. Is this usual?

(22 Posts)
BeanBag7 Tue 24-Sep-19 13:13:07

I qualified to teach secondary science in 2014 from a university with a well-regarded ITT department. Did a six month subject knowledge enhancement course followed by PGCE. I gave up teaching after 4 years because I found it incompatible with family life, but if I had no kids would almost certainly still be going.

From the 12 of us in my SKE course, 8 completed ITT, and 2 are still teaching.

From my cohort of around 40 on the PGCE I know of 6 who are still in teaching.

Of the 5 NQTs in the "good" school where I taught, one is still teaching and one is a supply teacher.

I know there is a problem with retention, but this seems much worse than I would expect. Would you expect to see more than 75% of recently trained teachers to drop out within 5 years or is this just an unlucky coincidence from my experience?

OP’s posts: |
ooopsupsideyourhead Tue 24-Sep-19 13:31:34

I did a PGCE in MFL and finished eleven years ago. 30+ started the course and 12 finished. Of the 12, 3 didn’t choose to do their NQT. Of the 9 remaining only four of us still work as teachers in any capacity (three part time and one supply). It’s a sad, but standard situation I think.

CatAndFiddle Tue 24-Sep-19 15:48:47

No, those figures ring true with my experience. The retention crisis has really been played down by the DfE. But as long as they keep getting new people through the door, I don't think they mind.

Actaea Tue 24-Sep-19 15:57:49

Sounds about average. Teaching is one of those things that seems like it should be good but isn’t. People are lured in by the reasonable salary and expectation of a professional career, but quit when they’re faced with the reality of the atrocious behaviour, ridiculous workload and no personal life.

SmileCheese Tue 24-Sep-19 16:02:07

Nope not at all unusual. Of the 15 people I still have contact with from my PGCE there are only 3 of us still teaching. 1 of those is part time and myself and the 3rd are both on supply. None of the other 12 appear to work in any education related field, 2 of them now work in a supermarket due to the stress of the profession.

I really believe if parents knew how bad the retention crisis was they would be petitioning and lobbying for change. Sadly as long as there is a stream of bright shiny naïve NQT's willing to teach their child nothing will change.

noblegiraffe Tue 24-Sep-19 16:09:18

I think the official figures are about thirty percent leaving within 5 years but I think they only count if you actually started teaching and don’t count trainee dropouts or people who didn’t start their NQT year.

Piggywaspushed Tue 24-Sep-19 17:25:53

Depressing and very different from my day. Of the people I have remained in touch with who started at the same time as me or DH, nearly all are still teaching and 3 of the men are headteachers.

fedup21 Tue 24-Sep-19 17:30:14

Depressing and very different from my day. Of the people I have remained in touch with who started at the same time as me or DH, nearly all are still teaching and 3 of the men are headteachers.

When did you train?

I qualified in 98 and out of the 50/60 on my
PGCE, I can think of one who is still in the class, teaching. Several more of us work in schools, but in non class-based roles with a couple of people in LA advisory posts as well. About 15/20 didn’t do the NQT year.

I know it’s 20 years ago, but for actual teaching numbers, that’s not great really.

GrimalkinsCrone Tue 24-Sep-19 17:31:47

Interesting that you assert confidently that you’d still be in teaching...
No, not unusual in primary. Some schools I go to have no staff members that are ft, or with more than 5 years experience. For most, it’s not a long-term prospect any more.

PotteringAlong Tue 24-Sep-19 17:36:43

12 of us started our PGCE. 9 of us are still teaching.

Piggywaspushed Tue 24-Sep-19 17:38:49

I trained in 92.

Maybe it is where you train, how you train and what your early experiences are.

These aren't people I did my PGCE with : these are people I know form first year of teaching.
But I have just remembered another headteacher.

I googled a few people from PGCE and turned up two more headteachers!

BeanBag7 Tue 24-Sep-19 17:40:39

@GrimalkinsCrone I only left at the end of last academic year, almost entirely due to part time working not working out for me once I had children. I loved the job and was very lucky to be in a really supportive department with a HOD who activity worked to reduce planning time and marking time. I'm sure I would have stayed on if my home situation had not changed.

OP’s posts: |
GrimalkinsCrone Tue 24-Sep-19 17:43:18

Getting earlier and earlier! I did my probationary year starting in 1983!
I liked teaching, still do. But it’s changed immensely, even in the last decade.

MarryRichardMonica Tue 24-Sep-19 17:47:38

I did the primary postgrad in 2015. I think around 300 people started and 150 graduated. Not sure how many are still working.

Sotiredofthislife Tue 24-Sep-19 20:47:28

Trained 2012. Of 30, I am aware of 5 still teaching in the UK, including myself who is part time in the private sector and part time supply. Several abroad but weren’t UK based to start with. 2 only made it to Xmas of the NQT year. 3 didn’t start NQT year.

Retention rates are, frankly, pathetic.

Noroof Tue 24-Sep-19 20:52:10

I'm not in touch with anyone from my PGCE but I can tell you that of the people I worked with in the first 5 years of taking who were ages with me only one still teaches full time. 8 of them chucked it completely, 2 moved into guidance, I'm part time and one other is now part time supply. So out of 12 only 1 ft person left.
I'm never going full time again either.

Noroof Tue 24-Sep-19 20:52:55

Oops out of 13

Plancina Tue 24-Sep-19 20:53:59

I’ve lasted 8 years and am leaving in January for a job in Higher Education. The system is broken.

monkeytennis97 Tue 24-Sep-19 23:22:35

Blimey I can't remember all the names of those from my PGCE (about 20 of us). 1995ish. I am still in touch with 4 of us and they are all teaching in some capacity. Some didn't even start their nqt year (one went of to work on cruise ships as a singer as I recall). Can't remember people's surnames to try and find them though!

CheesecakeAddict Wed 25-Sep-19 20:06:23

I am in my 5th year of teaching. Of the 30 of us in my pgce year, 1 dropped out, 3 have already moved to teach abroad, 1 is doing supply, 1 never completed her nqt, another retrained after her nqt out of education, 1 dropped out to be a sahm and the list goes on. I think there are about 12 of us currently teaching but we were a young cohort so that could change now they are all getting married. I was the first to have kids, made it 1 year back after mat leave and I'm leaving at Christmas.

Atropa Thu 26-Sep-19 19:43:43

I'm the last one left of my cohort. 250 started training, after two months we were down to 190. About 150 graduated, about 110 started their NQT year. 10 in my subject. Everyone but me has quite and I'm retraining shortly.

Atropa Thu 26-Sep-19 19:43:57


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