The National Education Union (NEU) has revealed that 44% of state school teachers plan to quit by 2027.
Workload was the primary motivator for 65% of those planning to leave within the next two years, with concerns about public and government trust in teachers also playing a role.
According to the unions new survey entitled ‘The State of Education’, two-thirds of teachers in state-funded schools in England feel stressed at least 60% of the time.
When asked, “where do you see yourself in two/five years’ time”, 22% of state-school teachers in England who felt able to give an answer said they will no longer be working in education in two years’ time. 44% plan to quit within five years.
Teachers said schools were finding it difficult to fill vacancies, leading to a doubling up of roles, with 73% reporting the issue had become worse since the start of the pandemic. “People leave and then their responsibilities [are] added to another role,” one teacher said.
57% of school leaders responding to the NEU’s latest survey favoured a less punitive inspection service in order to alleviate workload pressures, and 48% wanted to see an increase in the number of staff employed.
This is significantly above the 43% and 36% of classroom teachers who selected those same options amongst their three priorities.
Just 1% of respondents overall said that they needed to see no changes to make their workload more manageable.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“It is high time that the government reflected on the failure of successive education secretaries to get a grip on the issues facing teachers. When Nicky Morgan launched the Workload Challenge in 2014, little did we expect to be scarcely off the starting position eight years later. We remain a profession with amongst the highest number of unpaid working hours, and we are still well above the international average for hours worked by teachers. This is simply unsustainable and can only lead to burn-out.
The government would do well to not just accept that high workload is a problem, but that they have played a starring role in many of the contributing factors. Our survey findings show that whether it be recruitment targets missed, talented teachers leaving the profession, the pernicious effects of a punitive and deeply flawed inspection system, or the effect of real-terms cuts to pay over many years, a national policy decision is always the villain of the piece. The Department for Education must take steps to right the ship, which is currently shedding too many staff and not finding enough to replace them. This is to a very large extent because the job is made unattractive and unsustainable.”