Fewer than a quarter of young teachers say they definitely plan to stay in teaching long term, a conference organised by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has heard.

Pay and excessive workload are the biggest reasons why young teachers say they may leave the profession.
Teachers aged 30 and under gathered in Birmingham today (Saturday) for the NASUWT’s Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference to take part in professional development workshops and receive support and advice.
A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Fewer than a quarter (24%) said they think they will definitely stay in teaching long-term. 6% say they only expect to be in the profession for another year;
  • Of those teachers considering leaving in the short or medium term, the main reasons were pay, workload, lack of work life balance and worsening pupil behaviour;
  • More than one in ten (12%) teachers say they spend more than 25 hours a week working outside school hours. 44% say they spend somewhere between 10 and 20 hours a week on average;
  • 44% say pupil indiscipline is a major issue in their school. Only a quarter say they feel completely supported by their school to deal with pupil indiscipline.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Young teachers are the future of the profession and it is vital they are nurtured and supported to remain in teaching.

“However, it is clear that for too many the increasingly uncompetitive nature of their pay, the relentless workload pressures and the lack of support to deal with pupil indiscipline may force them from the profession in the coming years.

“The number of young teachers leaving the profession within the first years of their careers is unsustainable. The NASUWT has provided ministers with an overwhelming amount of evidence of the problems and has put forward solutions which would address the retention crisis.

“Young teachers will continue to vote with their feet until decisive action is taken by ministers and employers to make teaching a sustainable and attractive life-long career.”