More than half of teachers considering quitting the classroom in next two years, YouGov survey finds

More than half of the teaching workforce is considering leaving the profession in the next two years, a new survey has found.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), revealed that 61 per cent of teachers are considering quitting due to the volume of workload and 57 per cent would leave for a better work/life balance.

The research shows that morale has declined in the past five years for 67 per cent of teachers. Less than one in ten (9 per cent) feel it has improved.

According to the new research, more than two-thirds of teachers are not in favour of performance related pay (PRP), introduced in September last year. Of those against it, 84 per said they believe it is “not practicable” to match an individual teachers’ contribution to student outcomes.

The survey, which interviewed more than 1,000 teachers, also found that 46 per cent had seen reductions in the number of support staff and 32 per cent in the number of teachers in their school.

The NUT has called on the government to take urgent action on the issues that drive teachers away, including workload, low morale and pay.

Christine Blower, general secretary of NUT, said: “The Department for Education (DfE) remains wilfully and recklessly unable to see that they are the cause of teacher misery across England. The NUT today challenges the government to look hard at the findings of this survey and to start addressing the concerns of the profession as a matter of urgency.”

More than 44,000 teachers shared experiences, ideas and solutions in the government’s workload challenge. Since then, Ofsted has published a document dispelling myths that result in unnecessary workloads in schools.

But according to the survey, nearly half of teachers said they had not heard of this guidance and a further 30 per cent, who had heard, said it wouldn’t help in their school.

Ms Blower said the survey results showed that the government’s efforts to reduce workload have been ineffective. “This survey demonstrates the combined, negative impact of the accountability agenda on teacher workload and morale. Teachers feel that the DfE’s work thus far to tackle workload has been totally inadequate.

“Meanwhile, nearly one million more pupils are coming into the system over the next decade. The government’s solution so far has been to build free schools, often where there are surplus places, and to allow class sizes to grow,” she stressed. “Add to this a situation where teachers are leaving in droves and teacher recruitment remains low. We now have a perfect storm of crisis upon crisis in the schools system.”

Following the workload challenge, the DfE has set up three new review groups looking into marking, planning and data management. These groups are set to make recommendations in late spring 2016.

On the challenge, education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “I want to ensure teachers’ can focus on what they do best: inspiring young people, not on the bureaucracy and paperwork that I know can make their working lives difficult. Through the Workload Challenge, we have identified the main factors behind teacher workload and in we now have a package of measures to help address the root causes.

“The review groups will build on those commitments by specifically looking in more depth at the three biggest concerns that teachers raised – marking, planning and resources, and data management – and I look forward to their recommendations.”

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