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New NEU survey: One in three teachers plan to quit
22

suk44 · 08/04/2021 14:23

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/08/one-in-three-uk-teachers-plan-to-quit-says-national-education-union-survey

One in three teachers plan to quit the classroom within five years because of increased workload and diminishing respect for the profession, according to a major union survey.

The poll by the National Education Union, which was conducted among teachers, school leaders and support staff in schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, revealed an education workforce exhausted after a year of Covid disruption, with 70% reporting increased workload over the last 12 months and 95% worried about the impact on their wellbeing.

Out of a poll of 10,000 members, 35% said they would “definitely” not be working in education by 2026, while two-thirds (66%) said the status of the profession has got worse and blamed government for failing to listen to or value teachers.


Yes it's 'only' a survey but given retention has long been a problem, the fact that even during the current economical situation and teaching being a pretty secure job compared to most, any indication that a significant number in the profession are absolutely sure they won't be teaching for that much longer is very worrying.

How much of the government's 'recovery package' will address the issues causing this? Is putting even more focus/funding on attracting new trainees and their training going to do anything for retention of existing teachers? The UK already has one of the youngest teaching workforces in the developed world.

Personally I'm still waiting to see some real benefits introduced as a result of the infamous Nicky Morgan workload survey..

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LolaSmiles · 08/04/2021 20:26

I'm not surprised. I know several people, all excellent teachers with good results, questioning whether they want to remain in teaching long term.

In my opinion, there's too much emphasis on getting anyone through the door to have a body in the room that the standards of new trainees/NQTs is inconsistent, meanwhile schools are losing strong staff who have had enough. It's these strong teachers with experience who are regularly, and rightly in my opinion, deployed to turn tough groups around who have had weaker teaching or inconsistency. What happens to those children when the experienced staff leave?

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RuleWithAWoodenFoot · 08/04/2021 20:32

strong teachers with experience who are regularly, and rightly in my opinion, deployed to turn tough groups around

This is what happens to me. Why if someone is good with the tough ones, should they always have tough ones? I'm having the worst year ever... I want a nice time in class too. I don't think it's 'rightly' happening, I think it's pushing some people out of the door.

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LolaSmiles · 08/04/2021 20:39

Apologies, I was very clumsy in my explanation and thinking very much from a secondary perspective.

I think it's right that strong teachers take on tricky groups, but it shouldn't always land on them.
For example, I think it's fair that I get a tricky GCSE class every year. Why give that group to a less confident, less experienced teacher? The flip side is I usually get a really nice KS3 class to balance it out.

I quietly grumble when certain colleagues always seem to get middle to nice groups where they can't do too much damage, but I can't fault HoD for doing that because they have to work with the staff available.

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suk44 · 08/04/2021 22:25

I suspect what will happen will be similar to what happened in the last recession - there will be an increase in the numbers training to be teachers whilst the economy is in the doldrums, then when it picks up many of those new entrants will leave when they have better options (in the year before the pandemic started the rate of new teachers leaving was the highest on record). The effect in the short term may steady any fall in the overall headcount of in-service teachers, but in the long term will do nothing to effectively address the long term increasing attrition rate in the profession.

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Loshad · 08/04/2021 22:30

Who did they poll though?
I am currently an NEU member and didn’t get polled.
Fucked off with them tbh, didn’t help me when i need urgwnt advice last year and full of crap like no exclusions ( so sexually abused staff and students must stay with their abuser)

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suk44 · 08/04/2021 22:34

Fucked off with them tbh, didn’t help me when i need urgwnt advice last year and full of crap like no exclusions ( so sexually abused staff and students must stay with their abuser)

Have you changed union as a result?

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Loshad · 08/04/2021 22:44

I am about to do so, yrs

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Loshad · 08/04/2021 22:44

Yes, not yrs

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Timeturnerplease · 09/04/2021 07:59

strong teachers with experience who are regularly, and rightly in my opinion, deployed to turn tough groups around

Happens in primary too - you get stuck in assessment years or moved around to take on tricky cohorts. I got stuck in Y2 for seven years due to excellent data. Been kept in another year group for a couple of years to deal with a series of low ability cohorts, and HT keen to move me into 6 once back from last mat leave. It’s flattering but exhausting.

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RuleWithAWoodenFoot · 09/04/2021 09:49

I had to move schools to get out of year 6.

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LolaSmiles · 09/04/2021 16:42

Timeturnerplease
I know what you mean about being both flattering and exhausting.
Primary sounds much harder in that respect because typically secondary HoDs manage to give those of us who take tricky classes a little respite with a nice group as well.

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RuleWithAWoodenFoot · 09/04/2021 16:47

I've been thinking about this today.

In my school I know at least 4 other teachers who want to leave teaching. They are good teachers, UPS.

When I had my performance review with my Head last September, we talked about my career plans - I said that I wanted to get out of teaching, she said 'when you've worked out how to do that, let me know'. The DH said the same.

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Lancrelady80 · 09/04/2021 18:57

Tbh, I'm surprised it's not more after the lambasting teachers have had this year.

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MissPrimaryCrafts · 09/04/2021 19:33

I'm just doing a PGCE so don't actually know what I'm talking about, but from my perspective if you've been in teaching a good while you'll be on a higher salary right? So it makes sense that the teacher earning more money would get trickier classes.

On the other hand though if you have that year after year I can see it driving good teachers from the profession. How do you balance it? Have break years where other staff get those classes?

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suk44 · 09/04/2021 19:36

In some schools the majority of classes are now 'tricky classes'.

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LolaSmiles · 09/04/2021 19:44

MissPrimaryCrafts
It's not that the most expensive or experienced teachers get tricky groups, it's that those who are strongest tend to. This often overlaps with experience, but I've worked with colleagues on UPS3 who manage to get a timetable of no GCSE, or would have Y10 and then someone else would take the class to Year 11. It was sometimes a source of frustration for me at M4/5 busting my gut to the sound if Year 11s saying "but Mrs Brown let us...

The reason always getting those groups causes issues is because it leads to a disproportionate distribution of workload. For example, if I get a class in Year 11 who have done very little in Year 10 with a previous teacher then I end up with all the GCSE mock marking, all the intervention, all the awkward conversations with parents, all the revision classes, all the stress of re-teaching pooy covered material and so on. Meanwhile the colleague who spent all of Year 10 doing revision posters, watching the films of key texts and allowing the class not to write much gets a Year 8 class where they can't do too much damage.

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hedgehogger1 · 09/04/2021 22:04

I joined the NEU late last year. I don't seem to be getting much from them at all. Just things asking me to officially nominate local folk for things. I have no idea about this "no exclusions" thing. Where's it come from?

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HercwasanEnemyofEducation · 09/04/2021 22:22

Lola Your experience chimes with mine re being decent and class distribution. I appreciate now being on UPS that I should have more tricky classes than an NQT and cope with the uptick in workload. But to see other UPS staff given "nice" timetables is frustrating. Sadly the good teachers seem to leave. A body is definitely desirable in a classroom over no body. We need experienced staff and should be shouting louder about retaining them.

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Subordinateclause · 12/04/2021 04:03

I've been teaching about 10 years and for all that time there have been surveys like this one.

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suk44 · 12/04/2021 14:15

I've been teaching about 10 years and for all that time there have been surveys like this one.

Which is hardly a good thing.. it indicates (backed up by DfE/other official stats that teacher attrition is always a big issue in the UK and that conditions in the job is such that a lot don't want to stay in the job very long.

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Scarby9 · 12/04/2021 19:03

Except that there has been ONE mainstream teacher job advertised in our town so far this term. One.
There appears to be much less movement than in any previous year I have known.

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suk44 · 12/04/2021 19:59

There appears to be much less movement than in any previous year I have known.

Meaning the proportion teachers out there that would love to leave but have to stay because there's fewer opportunities elsewhere is much higher than usual. Not sure it reflects well on any profession where a significant minority are staying only because they have no other viable option.

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