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Almost a quarter of new teachers have quit as pay cap bites

'Teachers are leaving our classrooms in record numbers, and the crisis is getting worse year after year,' says Labour

Will Worley
Saturday 08 July 2017 23:35 BST
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More and more teachers are leaving their jobs
More and more teachers are leaving their jobs (PA)

Nearly a quarter of the teachers who qualified since 2011 have left the job, according to research.

The figures, discovered by Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner, have raised concerns over the pressures faced in the classroom.

Along with other public sector workers, teachers have had a one per cent pay cap which is due to remain in place until 2020.

Ms Rayner said the figures showed the “sheer scale of the crisis that the Tories have created in teacher recruitment and retention”.

More than 27,500 teachers who trained between 2011 and 2015 had quit the profession by 2016, the figures showed, equating to 23 per cent of teachers leaving, the Guardian reported.

“Teachers are leaving our classrooms in record numbers, and the crisis is getting worse year after year. We are now at the point that more teachers are leaving than staying,” Ms Rayner told the newspaper.

“The Government has serious questions to answer on the impact of their policies such as the continued cap on public sector pay, and their failure to tackle the issues like excessive workload that affect teachers in the classroom.

“It is time that ministers finally admitted that we are at a crisis point, and came up with a proper plan of action to deal with it.”

Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said the news was “hardly surprising” because of “massive workloads”.

She added that teachers experience “misery” in “schools being forced to become exam factories”.

The revelations come as pressure increases on the Government to remove the public sector pay cap.

Education Secretary Justine Greening is believed to be sympathetic to increasing wages for public sector staff.

But Conservatives recently voted against removing the cap, and last week Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said it was a matter for future budgets.

The Department for Education said: "Teaching remains an attractive career and the latest statistics show that around 90 per cent of teachers continue in the profession following their first year of teaching – this has been the case since 1996. The number of former teachers coming back to the classroom has also risen significantly – from 13,090 in 2011 to 14,200 in 2016.

“We are actively addressing the issues that teachers cite as reasons for leaving the profession, for example by supporting schools to reduce unnecessary workload and improving behaviour management training for new teachers. Teachers play a hugely important role in our society, providing education and guidance for future generations.”

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