A report out today from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and funded by the Nuffield Foundation showed that job satisfaction is a major indicator to a teacher’s likelihood of leaving the profession.
This is a curious new angle for teaching, which, for many, is still ‘the best job in the world”. Whist the negatives of growing class sizes, data collection and inspection pressures are obvious and measurable, it’s normally against the assumption that when we are allowed to teach, the teaching is so fulfilling that it’s worth putting up with the rest. Has a balance been tipped; that there is now so little of the ‘good’ work, like actual teaching, that the rest is taking over?
The report also found that:
- Flexible and part time choices are important to secondary teachers – many have left to find professions where they can achieve this. Much more work needs to be done to support schools to bring in job sharing options for teachers in order to keep their top talent.
- Teacher leisure time is low – leading to stress and wellbeing problems. Compared to the police and nurses, teachers work much longer hours, even when holidays are factored in. This is an important point normally totally misunderstood by those not in the profession. In reality, the ‘flexitime’ owed to teachers after working full terms at 50 hours per week or more (as covered in last year's eTeach annual national teacher survey) is actually not nearly covered by the ‘long’ holidays.
About the author
Katie Newell BA(Hons) PGCE is an ex-primary school teacher, Head of Maths, Head of Year five and languages specialist. Katie qualified in Psychology at Liverpool then specialised in Primary Languages for her PGCE at Reading. Before teaching, Katie was a financial commentator and is now the Content Manager for eteach.com and fejobs.com. Katie feels passionately that teachers are the unsung heroes of society; that opening minds to creative timetabling could revolutionise keeping women in teaching, and that a total change to pupil feedback is the key to solving the work life balance issue for the best job in the world.