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Majority of teachers in England have considered quitting in the past year, polls show

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Alfie Rankin Special Education Needs, Primary Education, Secondary Education...

Majority of teachers in England have considered quitting in the past year, polls show

A poll of teachers has found that four out of five have considered quitting the profession over the past year because of the amount of work they have to do.

Over 80% of respondents said that they were thinking about changing careers because of the long hours now necessary in order to be a classroom teacher. Nearly 40% of those questioned said they spent more than 21 hours a week working at home out of hours to keep on top of the demands of their schools.

The NEU survey is not an isolated finding either, in a survey conducted by the NASUWT it was found that 65% of respondents had “seriously considered” leaving the profession in the past year, citing the heavy workload, the strain on their health and the strain on their family as the reasons.

One teacher responded: “We are not trusted to get on and do our job. We are accountable at every level, which creates more stress and paperwork. We are exhausted, and great teachers are being driven out of the profession.”

This will make uncomfortable reading for the government given the teacher shortages that have already been forecast in secondary teaching, computing and mathematics.

Kevin Courtney of the NEU has argued that unfortunately the answer isn’t as simple as cutting the workload and doing so won’t stop teachers leaving schools stating that “If the government does not act decisively and soon, the recruitment and retention crisis will seriously damage our children and young people’s education”.

The education secretary has said tackling teacher workload is one of his top concerns. In a major speech last month, he promised to put an end to what he described as pointless tasks in a bid to allow classroom teachers to “focus on what actually matters”.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “There are no great schools without great teachers and the record numbers choosing to work in our classrooms shows how desirable a career it continues to be.