Today, November 15, the Public Accounts Committee is holding a hearing on teacher retention
The NAHT, which represents school leaders in the majority of schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has written to all of the members of the committee to share some of the initial findings of its latest recruitment and retention survey. The survey will not be published until next Friday.
The letter reveals that when asked, two thirds (66%) of school leaders said they were aware of some of their staff having left the teaching profession prematurely. The top two reasons given were workload (mentioned by 84% of respondents) and achieving a better work-life balance (83% of respondents). Pay also came out as a strong driver following an 11% decline in real terms compared to other professions since 2010.
In the same survey, when we asked our members why they were struggling to fill teaching posts, 44% cited the number of teachers leaving the profession as one of the top reasons for this – in 2014, only 15% of respondents gave that reason.
In the letter, Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary says: “Too many teachers leave the profession before their time is up. Consequently, the UK teaching population is one of the youngest in the OECD. Experienced teachers are a vital component of a well-functioning system and we are just not hanging onto enough of them.
“Low pay, high workload and stress are the main ingredients of the recruitment and retention crisis currently gripping the UK. All three are the responsibility of the government and all three must be solved urgently.”
NAHT continues to lobby for a national strategy for teacher recruitment and retention which recognises teachers as high-status professionals and guarantees enough teachers for every classroom.