What stops teachers from quitting?

  • What stops teachers from quitting?

Research from Pearson and LKMco shows teachers need to know they’re making a difference...

Research released today shows that more than half (59 per cent) of over 1000 teachers involved in a YouGov survey have considered leaving in the past six months. The figure will not come as a surprise, especially as YouGov ran a similar poll on behalf of the National Union of Teachers published earlier in October, which revealed 53 per cent of teachers were considering quitting in the next two years. Workload has again been cited as the main reason for the sense of disillusionment, with 76 per cent saying this is what would cause them to leave their job.

The new research, compiled in partnership with think tank LKMco and Pearson, goes on to explore why teachers enter the profession in the first place, and what it is that keeps them there – and it’s not the long holidays. The vast majority (92 per cent) said the opportunity to make a difference in pupils’ lives is what keeps them going.

There are some slight difference in what attracts primary and secondary teachers to the profession. Those working in KS1 and KS2 are particularly motivated by the desire to work with young people (94 per cent of primary teachers compared to 87 per cent of secondary teachers), while those in KS3 and KS4 are more likely to be driven by an interest in their subject. (95 per cent of secondary teachers compared to 83 per cent of primary teachers).

Family ties are also important to many teachers who generally stay in the region where they grew up. Fifty-two per cent said it’s important for them to be near their relatives.

“With an upcoming increase in the school age population and statistics showing that rising workloads are driving teachers away from the profession, it is crucial to understand what will attract teacher to, and keep them in, the profession,” said Loic Menzies, director of LKMco, commenting on the report. “It is incumbent on the government and school leaders to make space for teachers to be the best they can be- teachers want to do their job well and want to change lives. It would be a tragedy if an unmanageable workload stood in the way.”

The research findings are based on a YouGov survey of over 1000 current teachers in England (including those from Early Years through to Further Education), focus groups and interviews with over 40 teachers and school leaders and an international literature review of existing research on the topic

Pie Corbett