Ten Statistics That Should Be Researched: Number 1 Number of people leaving the profession

Teaching has become the kind of career that everyone tries on to see if it fits, partly because most undergraduate degrees can be squeezed to fit into one of the subject disciplines, and partly because it is easy to get into, with it’s short training time and increased level of financial support during study. But is this the reason that high numbers of teachers leave the profession, or are ex-teachers just saying that to sound professional? Is the real reason the extremely poor working conditions, work/life balance and high amount of stress?

How would you measure the number of teachers leaving the profession each year? A yearly survey of teacher training alumni by universities might be a start, but I think it would also be important to involve career advisers and recruitment specialists in some way, perhaps by asking what percentage of their clients are moving out of teaching. Indeed, some career advisers specialise in helping teachers make their ‘great escape’.

Of course, the current climate means more teachers are staying put in their positions, and more graduates are giving up on their teaching career due to being unable to secure a first post. These two aspects could be said to cancel each other out. But if the research was carried out during better economic times as well, then I suspect that an underlying high turnover of professionals will be seen then as well.

There are government reports already on the problem of too many leaving the profession. What will happen if this carries on unchecked? Can you imagine an education system where there are not enough teachers? I’d rather not.

Read the full series


Post a Comment