Union warns of teaching departures

A TEACHING union official has warned more teachers in Suffolk will be forced to leave the profession unless the Government takes steps to improve working conditions.

A TEACHING union official has warned more teachers in Suffolk will be forced to leave the profession unless the Government takes steps to improve working conditions.

Martin Goold, Suffolk secretary of the National Union of Teachers, was speaking after a survey revealed a third of Britain's teachers expect to be out of the profession within five years.

The survey, which was the largest of its kind, found 35% of teachers were likely to leave in the next five years.

Mr Goold said: "It really is a crisis. All the steps the Government has taken has succeeded in getting people to train but it's not keeping people in the profession and they have got to look at three areas," he said.


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"The Government has got to look at one, the pay conditions of teachers, two, the workload issues and three, pupil behaviour.

"Obviously you would expect the problems to be worse in large inner city areas but Suffolk is not immune from the fact that there are other jobs that are less stressful and perhaps even better paid which qualified teachers can do.

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"Basically I think the whole thrust of Government policy over the last 20 years has created these problems."

The study, which was conducted during October and November by the General Teaching Council and Mori showed one in 20 teachers nationally intended to quit the classroom for another job outside education.

Suffolk County Council is presently collating the total number of teaching vacancies in the county.

David Thornton, deputy director of education for the council, said "We recognise the situation identified in the survey in terms of the high demands on teachers. At present in Suffolk we are able to recruit enough teachers to keep pace with the numbers retiring, but if there were significant numbers leaving early then undoubtedly this would cause us concern.

"We strongly support the efforts being made nationally to reduce excessive workloads and to enable teachers to concentrate on the tasks they are trained to do - crucially the development of effective learning by children and young people."

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