At the annual Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) union conference recently, some members suggested that a lack of respect for the education sector is discouraging people from entering the teaching profession.
A survey of 900 members of the Association has revealed that 93 per cent believe that the workload is the main reason why some people do not want to enter the education sector, whereas 91 per cent cited a poor work-life balance.
The survey findings also revealed that 83 per cent of the Association had thought about leaving the teaching profession and of those, 90 per cent said that this was because of the heavy workload.
General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Dr Mary Bousted, said of the market research findings: “The Government has missed its teacher trainee recruitment targets for the last four years and record numbers are leaving the profession.
“The Government must take heed of what teachers say is fuelling the crisis and admit that tackling the shortage is about making the profession a more attractive one to join, and stay in.”
One English teacher from Oxfordshire gave anecdotal evidence which revealed that a “relentless workload” had a major impact on her marriage, eventually resulting in divorce.
Another teacher from a primary school in Merseyside said of the profession: “In 23 years of teaching I have never felt so pressured and unable to achieve, both in terms of my work and family life. I worry greatly about the mental health of everyone involved in education… both teachers and children.”
31 per cent of the teachers said that some teachers are being forced to teach subjects which they do not have a degree in, in order to cope with the staff shortages some schools are facing.
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