Teachers Considering Quitting Due To Workload

New teacher research released by the National Union of Teachers suggests that somewhere in the region of 9 out of ten NUT members who responded to survey (16, 379) have considered quitting their profession in the last two years due to excessive workloads. The survey was carried out with NUT members England and Wales in late September 2014 via email.

Teachers Considering Quitting Due To Workload - Education Market Research

Teachers Considering Quitting Due To Workload

Among those interviewed, almost half (47%) were working in primary schools with around two fifths (41%) working in a secondary school. The rest worked in a range of other institutions including sixth form colleges, special schools and early years settings. Within the survey, there were responses from every local authority area in England and Wales.

Teaching is ‘Breaking Me’

Some of the headline figures from the NUT survey, published on the Union’s website, include:

  • 90% of teachers said they had considered giving up their role as a teacher in the last two years due to the pressure of their workload
  • Nearly nine in ten (87%) of teachers said they knew one or more than one colleagues who had given up their roles in the last two years due to workload issues
  • More than nineteen in twenty (96.5%) stated that the amount of work they needed to do had negative consequences on their family or personal life. Only 2% of respondents said that workload did not cause negative consequences.

One secondary school teacher from Hampshire said:

‘I love teaching but it is breaking me.’

According to the report, more than a third of teacher surveyed say that they think about leaving ‘fairly constantly’ with a further 46% saying that they consider it ‘from time to time’. A tenth of those interviewed were actively searching for a new role, with the same number stating they would never consider leaving the teaching profession.

In terms of the causes of heavy or excessive workloads, teachers provided a number of different elements, including:

  • Marking policy (80%)
  • Excessive data entry and analysis (70%)
  • Preparation for Ofsted, including ‘Mocksted’ inspections

Teachers suggested a number of potential ways to reduce workload, these included:

  • More trust in teachers (82%)
  • Less scrutiny of teachers (70%)
  • More achieveable targets (68%)
  • More PPA time (67%)
  • Smaller classes (65%)

Click here to view the NUT research in full.


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