The education sector faces a challenge with no easy solution as pupil numbers grow at pace while more and more teachers leave the profession.
Randstad’s research on classrooms highlights the extent of the problem and offers commentary on the factors influencing this trend. It was recently revealed that the number of pupils attending secondary school has increased every year since 2013, with the total number of UK 11-18-year olds at school now at 3,223,090. Despite this consistent increase in pupils,however, secondary school staff numbers have fallen by a huge 10,000 teachers since 2010, whilst 34,910 qualified teachers left the profession for reasons other than retirement in 2016.
Why is this mass exodus happening?
There are a multitude of factors that contribute to this education jobs trend. A survey conducted by the NAO found that 85% of secondary school leaders feel that they have insufficient support from the government to help them build and maintain a high quality workforce.
This alarming statistic is supported by the fact that last year £37.5 million was spent on teacher development and retention and £34.2 million on improving teacher quality. But in 2013/14, these figures were at as much as £555 million. If development, retention and quality are getting so little funding, it’s not surprising that the situation has spiralled to such a degree.
The amount of responsibility and work entailed in teaching jobs is also clearly a factor, with 67% of secondary school leaders citing workload as a major reason teachers choose to leave rather than join the profession.
Something needs to change
Unless changes are made and the retention problem is tackled, things are only going to continue to get worse. There needs to be enough educators for students to be able to learn and to receive an education that they deserve. To make that happen, ultimately, secondary school teachers need more support.