The increasing number of new and experienced teachers leaving the teaching profession has caused many school teachers to consider how to leave teaching themselves and seek employment in other industries or teach in indirect roles.
Recent articles, such as the one published in the Independent, look into the rising number of teachers that are choosing to resign from the National Teaching Service, with an in-depth study into the major concerns of current teachers. As more and more teachers choose to leave teaching altogether, many varied reasons are being provided as to why there is a high level of resignations.
One of the common misconceptions in the reasons why certified teachers are looking at how to get out of teaching, is that they have lost their love for the job.
While losing a passion for their teaching job is a factor for some people handing in their letter of resignation, it is not a defining factor for every teacher. Many teachers still love their profession yet choose to leave teaching because of the pressure of the modern National Teaching Service and the recent changes in teaching requirements and professional development.
While teachers who have taught for many years are also choosing to resign from teaching, there is a prominent trend in newly trained teachers opting to leave their teaching career after only a few years after becoming a teacher. In recent years, it is estimated that roughly 1 in 10 new teachers are deciding to leave teaching after only holding a position for a year, with the statistics after 5 years showing that only 70% remained teaching.
The reasons for so many resignations can be attributed to a number of reasons, some down to personal circumstance but many down to problems that teachers face with the National Teaching Service.
Some of the most common reasons presented by teachers for leaving the National Teachers Service are down to budget cuts, extensive workloads, badly structured pay and an increasing lack of motivation for the profession. Whether down to one defining reason or a combination of key factors, a teacher’s choice to leave the Nation Teaching Service is a choice personal to them.
One of the most significant reasons for teachers resigning from their professions, are the cuts that have been made to the Department of Education. The effect of the cuts is a primary factor as to why the further reasons behind resignation have been brought about and a substantial influence behind most teacher’s decisions.
Teachers are under increased pressure as budgets fall. (Photo credit: kevin dooley via VisualHunt.com / CC BY)
Budget cuts have taken place nationwide, with a map designed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers along with the National Union of Teachers on Schools Cuts, showing where many of the future proposed cuts will happen.
The effect of budget cuts within the school system can be felt throughout almost every aspect of the running of a school, with subjects, equipment and staff being directly affected. A survey by the Guardian looked into the percentage effects of the budget cuts shows that 81% of those surveyed, had seen cuts in the budget within their schools.
The survey also considered how the budget cuts were reflected in the dropping of certain subjects in a school and the implications for staff teaching those subjects along with further redundancies.
For those teachers who have not already chosen to resign from teaching, the budget cuts and reduction in overall funding are concerning reasons to consider resigning themselves. Much of the concern is directed at the students where the budget cuts cause a lack of available equipment, with teachers often choosing to leave because the budget can’t cover the essentials they need to teach effectively.
In extension to the shortage of funds across the National Teaching Service, the increased workload that teachers are having to face are making some jobs unmanageable.
With 14% of teachers surveyed by the Guardian saying they were being made redundant and with further cuts to teaching assistants and staff, teachers are having to take on more extra work along with their regular duties. See if you qualify for redundancy pay if leaving teaching. Causing work life to impede on personal lives, the workload is a significant reason that teachers are opting to leave a job in education to allow time to spend with their families.
Life after teaching can be very rewarding. Face your fears and find your passion.
A recent article by ATL showed that, of the teachers surveyed, 93% of teachers viewed the workload of a teacher as the primary reason why people no longer wanted to apply to be a teacher.
This further extends to the retention of teachers and the problems with teachers staying in the profession for more than a 5-year period, taking with them their training when they leave a job in education. Despite many teachers leaving, some schools can’t afford to replace them or hire substitute teachers to cover classes and provide a steady education for students.
With some classes left with no teachers or even a stable supply teacher in the instance of illness, redundancy or resignation, other teachers are having to step into the roles and cover classes and content areas that are not their area of expertise or pedagogy. This is especially a problem with core academic classes where the teacher already has to teach mandatory classes for much longer in secondary schools and the absence of teachers means the workload increases significantly.
Some schools are managing the lack of teachers through combining classes together, something that creates an even bigger workload for the teachers. Increased students in a class means more documents and assignments, as well as more time having to be spent giving individual attention to each student.
Many teachers are leaving teaching for a better career and better pay!
The increased workload is causing teachers to further examine whether or not they are receiving adequate pay for the work they are doing.
This is particularly the case for new teachers starting out in teaching, with around 30% leaving for new jobs before 5 years spent as a teacher. The average salary a teacher receives in England who has been teaching for less than 10 years is £22,000 while teachers who have been in the profession for more than 10 years receive on average £35,000 a year.
The £13,000 pay gap between new and experienced teachers mean that new teachers entering teaching are finding it harder to cope with the pay, especially entering the profession and facing a workload that is much higher than expected. This also means that less and less teachers are willing to apply for teaching jobs at struggling schools where the jobs are not as secure as other education jobs. More and more, teachers are applying for online tutoring jobs and tutoring jobs London and around the UK.
Teachers who still love teaching are seeking teacher jobs elsewhere, such as private schools and teaching abroad where the pay better reflects the workload they are having to face.
There is also a second pay gap relevant in the National Teaching Service, showing a substantial difference between the salary for male and female teachers. On average, female teachers are earning around 6.4% less than a male equivalent teaching in secondary schools, an elemental factor in the decision for some female teachers to leave teaching in pursuit of other careers.
A combination of the significant reasons why many teachers are looking into how to leave teaching, motivation to continue working under the strain is often a deciding factor for many teachers. The lack of funding to work efficiently and the resulting workload because of it is causing teachers to lose motivation in a job that they decided to pursue out of a desire to share knowledge, increase teaching standards and help students. While there are many factors causing a lack of motivation, one of the primary reasons are the changing government policies that are affecting schools across the UK.
From 2013 to 2016, the numbers of teachers who decided to leave the National Teaching Service saw an increase of 11%. Despite the increase in teachers leaving, the government policies put in place to set the recruitments levels of teachers saw the targets fall short from 2012 to 2016, leaving schools short of teachers and further lowering the morale of current teachers, pushing them into a new job search.
The lack of teachers interested in open teaching positions has caused many schools to hire underqualified teachers for jobs, with 28% of secondary school physics classes in 2014 being taught be teachers who hadn’t obtained any qualification or teaching credential past that of an A-level in the subject. As the government policies fail to provide adequate levels of teaching staff, the low motivation to continue in under-staffed schools is a significant reason for teachers handing in their letter of resignation.
While some new government policies are accepted by schools, others feel that the new changes are unreasonable and unbeneficial to students and staff alike. The combination of teaching pay freezes, Ofsted inspections without prior notice, and extensive changes to curriculum are just a few of the government changes that resulted in an increase of stress, pressure from parents and an overall decrease in teaching motivation.
The reasons why many teachers are wondering how to resign from teaching are extensive and a combination of many factors that compile to make the job just too much to cope with. With even more teachers looking for find new employment as they feel the stress is becoming unmanageable, the reasons why a teacher might resign from the National Teaching Service could see even more growth in coming years.