30% of 2010 teachers quit within five years. Government ministers have confirmed that nearly a third of the 2010 teaching intake of English state schools had left teaching by 2015, Schools Improvement reports.
Minister for education, Nick Gibb confirmed the statistic in a written answer to a question from Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland.
The government played down the figures, saying that retention in the teaching profession had remained stable for the past two decades.
The Liberal Democrats said the figures were a ‘damning record’ of previous education minister, Michael Gove’s term in office.
In a more detailed breakdown of retention rates since 2010, the figures revealed show that out of 100 newly qualified teachers entering state schools in England in 2010, only 87% remained a year later.
There was a further decrease to 82% after two years, 77% after three years, and 70% after five years.
Laying the blame squarely with former education minister, Michael Gove, Liberal Democrat education spokesman John Pugh commented:
“It is bad enough that dedicated teachers are being driven away from the profession they love, but this is also laying the foundations for a disastrous teaching shortage in years to come if we cannot train new teachers fast enough to replace the ones which leave,” said Mr Pugh.
“The government must urgently work with the teaching community to address the many factors which are making teachers feel demoralised and under-valued; as well as reversing their devastating cuts to school budgets, which are putting increasing pressure on teachers and schools.”
Gove’s reforms to the exam system, turning of many schools into academies, and changes to the national curriculum, were also blamed for the consistently negative retention rates.
Retention rates only began following this trend from 2012 when the national economy began picking up, and salaries began rising in other industries. Some of the 2010 intake will have left teaching altogether, but they have also switched to the private school teaching sector, and teaching posts abroad, according to teacher supply expert Prof. John Howson.
The Department for Education played down the figures, commenting:
“[More teachers are] entering our classrooms than those choosing to leave or retire.
We want every child to have access to great teachers that aren’t weighed down with unnecessary workload so they have the time and freedom to do what they do best – inspire the next generation. We recognise teachers’ concerns and are continuing to work with the sector to find constructive solutions to this issue.”