25% need a Plan B

25% are leaving!

Last year, whilst speaking at several conferences, I met a large number of teachers who were just beginning their careers.   I loved their passion, ambition and positivity.

Those I met who have been working in the education system for a while were not quite so enamoured, and that includes Further Education.

In fact headline figures from the 2016 workforce census highlights a worrying trend that a quarter of teachers are leaving the profession within 3 years of joining it.  These statistics do not include FE lecturers, but I know it would show a similar story.

This means that there is a constant demand for new staff, trained teams, specialisms and an understanding of SEN in the mainstream classroom.

But worse than that, there are many highly trained educators looking for a new career!

A number of articles written in 2016 outlined teacher despair:

“I just want to do what I love without all the red tape and stress”

A survey conducted by UKEDChat was entitled: Workload and Bullying Main Reasons for Teachers Leaving the Profession

A commenter stated “The workload demands are crazy meaning there is no work/life balance – you just have no life. There were constant instances of ungrateful children and parents. I wanted to make a difference but I felt what I was doing was useless and it was making me ill.”

So if you’ve trained to be a teacher, and this is your calling, what happens when the bubble bursts and you look elsewhere to fulfil your passion?  What is the Plan B?




6 Responses to 25% need a Plan B

  1. Barbara Green says:

    I did leave teaching as could not take the stress any more and got an admin job local to home. Had to admit that I was bored and missed the teenagers so returned to teaching, but under different terms. I don’t push myself so hard and take no responsibility for what other people have or have not done.

  2. Davina says:

    I am looking for alternative work, preferably with Autistic teenagers/young adults as the work load at the College is getting ridiculous and more people are leaving but not getting replaced. Worrying times, sometimes I have to force myself to come to work as it is making me ill and there is no thanks for all our hard work, just pointing out what we haven’t done, not what we have achieved alongside our students. It is a business after all (that’s what I keep getting told) so money is the priority, not the learners’ welfare.

  3. Gadge says:

    I teach in FE, so many of students in FE have not achieved level 2 English and Maths, in fact most of them are way of the mark and have no idea of respect for themselves or others yet we are expected to get them up to a level 2 stage and get them through a construction qualification, when many of them are only there so mums get benefits or to get them out from under their feet, being forced into a training course they don’t want to do. All we do in FE is provide care in the community for the academically challenged

  4. Hilary Nunns says:

    Thanks for your feedback here. It’s a such a shame that cuts to services and increased pressure to squeeze success in English and Maths is so detrimental to everyone’s experience.

  5. Carol James says:

    I agree with most of the comments that I have read. After fifteen years I still love my job but it never ends and there is no home of social life. The workload has become unmanageable. Added to that we are expected to upgrade skills which the student has not managed to achieve after years in school,and we have a maximum of two years to do it. If the student achieves well it is down to the student but if the student leaves or fails then it is our fault. I also end up feeling as if I am completely useless. A Teacher of two years told me the other day that she just wished someone would sometimes say ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’. Education should not be a business.

  6. Jess Simmons says:

    So many people have been made redundant over a few years and some of them go back to the classroom but a lot don’t. My job has been deleted twice!

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