Stark warning on teacher retention crisis

More than one in ten newly qualified teachers say they only intend to stay in teaching for 12 months, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard. Nearly one in three newly qualified teachers overall say they will leave the teaching profession within five years.

Newly qualified teachers from across the country gathered in Birmingham today (Saturday) for the NASUWT’s Newly Qualified Teacher Seminar to discuss the challenges facing them as new teachers and to engage in professional development workshops.

The conference heard concerns from new teachers about the impact of excessive workload and bureaucracy on their ability to focus on teaching and learning. Many newly qualified teachers are also being denied their statutory rights and entitlements during their induction year

A real-time electronic poll of newly qualified teachers attending the seminar found that:

  • More than one in ten (11%) say they only intend to stay in teaching for 12 months. Nearly a fifth (19%) say they intend to stay only for a maximum of two to five years;
  • Nearly a third (31%) were not in receipt of the full 10% reduction in teaching time they are entitled to during their induction year;
  • A fifth said they were rarely or never provided with adequate support and guidance from their induction mentor. 5% had not even been provided with a named mentor;
  • Nearly a third (30%) say they can rarely or never access appropriate external professional development;
  • Excessive workload was the biggest problem experienced during the induction year, followed by a lack of support to deal with poor pupil behaviour;
  • While a quarter rated the quality of support received so far from their school as outstanding, nearly one in five (18%) branded it inadequate;
  • The majority (61%) said secure employment with fair access to pay progression would most encourage them to stay in teaching long-term.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The number of newly qualified teachers saying they do not intend to remain in the profession in the short or medium-term is extremely worrying, but unfortunately not surprising.

“The combination of excessive workload, real terms cuts to teachers’ pay and the failure in too many cases to provide new teachers with the support they are entitled to is driving precious new recruits out of the profession.

“New teachers are the future of the profession. Official figures show that the number of recruits to initial teaching training is falling and if those who do go through training are driven to leave in the early years of their career, the future for teaching and by extension, for children and young people, looks bleak.

“The Government cannot continue to ignore the crisis it has created in teacher recruitment and retention. It cannot gamble with children and young people’s life chances by continuing to fail teachers.”

Notes to editors
The Newly Qualified Teachers Seminar is a termly event which forms part of the package of ongoing support and guidance offered to new teachers by the NASUWT throughout their induction year.

Lena Davies
Press & Media Officer
0121 457 6250/07867 392746