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Record number of teachers continue to leave the profession

teacher leaving the profession

27,500 teachers who trained between 2011 and 2015 had already left the teaching profession by 2016. That means that just over 23% of about 117,000 teachers who qualified over the period have left.

New research by the Education Policy Institute found that half of full-time teachers work between 40 and 58 hours a week, whilst a fifth of full-time teachers are working up to 60 hours a week, 19% longer than the average elsewhere of 40.6 hours. These extortionate hours leave teachers stressed with no time for quality of life forcing many skilled teachers choosing to take huge pay cuts and work as teaching assistants rather than contend with the vast workload expected of them.

These alarming figures add further concerns and pressures to a profession that’s already in crisis and when demands for the government to remove the 1% pay cap that has been placed on teacher salaries until 2020.


Tory MPs have complained the overall schools budget is too small and needs to be increased. Teaching unions have been urging ministers to lift the pay cap. They also want to make it cheaper for teachers to train and to introduce measures to encourage teachers to stay in post in areas with significant recruitment problems.

teachers work overload

Over worked and stressed, many teachers are taking lower skilled roles or leaving the profession altogether.


Following the election chaos Education Secretary Justine Greening, has demanded an extra £1.2bn from the government and is in support of both relaxing the pay cap and increasing public spending on schools. However she is one of a series of cabinet ministers making spending demands on Philip Hammond, the Chancellor.


Angela Rayner, the Shadow Education Secretary, who uncovered the figures showing the number of teachers leaving the profession, said they highlighted the “sheer scale of the crisis that the Tories have created in teacher recruitment and retention”.

“Teachers are leaving our classrooms in record numbers, and the crisis is getting worse year after year. We are now at the point that more teachers are leaving than staying,” she said. “The government has serious questions to answer on the impact of their policies such as the continued cap on public sector pay, and their failure to tackle the issues like excessive workload that affect teachers in the classroom.

angela rayner

The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said that the statistics were proof of the strain teachers are under, adding that the profession is at “crisis point”.

“It is time that ministers finally admitted that we are at a crisis point, and came up with a proper plan of action to deal with it.”

The Department for Education said the rate of teachers leaving after just a year had remained stable for decades, adding that some teachers were returning to the classroom after quitting.

A spokesman said: “Teaching remains an attractive career and the latest statistics show that around 90% of teachers continue in the profession following their first year of teaching – this has been the case since 1996. The number of former teachers coming back to the classroom has also risen significantly – from 13,090 in 2011 to 14,200 in 2016.”

“We are actively addressing the issues that teachers cite as reasons for leaving the profession, for example by supporting schools to reduce unnecessary workload and improving behaviour management training for new teachers. Teachers play a hugely important role in our society, providing education and guidance for future generations.”


July 11, 2017