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Half of teachers plan to quit because of heavy workload

Eleanor Hayward, Correspondant

Monday April 11 2022, 12.01am, The Times

Half of teachers in England will quit within five years because of the "un­manageable" workload, a survey by the National Education Union suggests. It said that 44 per cent planned to switch careers by 2027 and one in five intended to quit within two years.

The poll of 1,788 teachers, before the union's conference this week, sug­gested that heavy workload was a big factor in job dissatisfaction. Some 52 per cent said that their workload was "unmanageable" or "unmanageable most of the time", up from 35 per cent last year.

For those planning to leave within two years, two thirds said that workload was the main reason. Teachers also cited concerns about a lack of trust from the public and gov­ernment, as well as low pay. One said: "I am desperate to get out of education due to workload, constant monitoring and paperwork." Teachers said that schools were find­ing it difficult to fill vacancies, forcing them to take on extra roles, and 73 per cent -reported the problem got worse during the pandemic. One said: "We have increased leadership responsibili­ties but our time to carry this out has been axed. Classes are covered by teaching assistants on a regular basis as if this is perfectly satisfactory." Two-thirds of secondary school teachers said that the shortage of teaching assistants and support staff posts had got worse since March 2020. Mary Bousted, the union's joint gen­eral'secretary, said that teaching was a "fulfilling job ... Yet the government makes this more difficult, and if we are to collectively do the right thing for young people then we must be able to deliver the education they deserve. That change must come from the top."

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