'Staggeringly high' numbers of teachers threatening to quit the classroom

Teachers are stuck in roles they can no longer cope with but can't leave because of their financial circumstances, says Education Datalab head

According to a report in the Independent today, “staggeringly high” numbers of teachers are ready to quit the profession, a leading education researcher has warned, as growing pressures placed on staff and schools make the job “just too big an ask”. Rebecca Allen, director of the Education Datalab think tank has become the latest expert to highlight what has been referred to as a “crisis” in teacher recruitment and retention. Children across the country are being taught by teachers who do not want to be there, but are trapped by their financial circumstances, Ms Allen said.

Speaking at a General Election briefing on education, she warned teaching is now “incredibly difficult”, as staff are increasingly bogged down with paperwork and accountability tasks that are leaving them exhausted and unmotivated. More needs to be done, in particular to help new teachers, to stop them walking out the door, she said.

Her comments come amid growing fears for teachers’ mental health, with figures from a teaching union survey last month revealing almost four in ten young teachers could quit the classroom within the next five years. In the survey of more than 3,000 teachers under the age of 36, almost half said mental health concerns could force them to resign, with heavy workloads and lack of support cited as key problems. Teaching in England is now “an incredibly difficult job” with school workers “putting in hours in excess of anything that people could imagine”, said Ms Allen.

"It’s something that is essentially a performance job and I think as a profession they’re exhausted. I think they’re exhausted not just by the day to day of delivering lessons, but more importantly everything else that they’re expected to do."

Read the whole report here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/staggeringly-...