Public Sector Pay Freeze: A Third Of Teachers Plan to Leave

Public Sector Pay Freeze: A Third Of Teachers Plan to Leave

It might seem like teachers are pretty well paid but when you really add up all the unpaid hours does it check out? 1 in 3 teachers plan to leave the profession within five years owing to the public sector pay freeze for 2021.

Every teacher knows the work day does not end at 3pm. The long hours mean teachers are earning much less than other professionals who have similar levels of education and training. 

Still, many educators will admit they didn’t go into the profession expecting a big salary but shouldn’t teachers be compensated?

The pandemic has brought heightened stress and overwhelming responsibilities. A poll conducted by the National Education Union found that one in three teachers plan to quit the classroom in the next five years. The survey showed that the increased workload and a diminishing respect for the profession, were the reasons many teachers were deciding to depart.

Out of a poll of 10,000 NEU members 70% of educators reported an increase in workload over the last 12 months and 95% are worried about the impact on their wellbeing.

35% said they would “definitely” not be working in education by 2026. 

66% blamed the government for failing to listen to or value teachers and feel as though the status of the profession has diminished.

55% believe their work-life balance is now worse than before the first lockdown.

24% said they intended to leave education because of the pay. 

NEU called for a 7% pay rise for teachers but the government’s pay freeze for public sector workers was a massive blow to teachers following the pressures of the pandemic. 

NEU statement says: “The Government is out of touch with the profession and its position is not credible. Its attempts to use the impact of the pandemic to justify further attacks on pay, despite the huge contribution made by teachers and school leaders to the national response to the pandemic, have created enormous anger.”

They confirmed national strikes would happen if ministers fail to meet their pay demands.

The reality is that the vast majority of teachers work significantly harder than the masses assume. 

Deborah Lawson, Assistant General Secretary of Community Union (Voice education section), said: “The pay freeze is a kick in the teeth for the nation’s dedicated teachers and headteachers, who have been working under extreme pressure during the pandemic, with more and more expectations placed on them. It has had a damaging impact on staff morale.

“Teachers have not only provided education and care for vulnerable children and key workers’ children but have worked through holidays.

“There’s already a recruitment and retention crisis, and we’ve heard many teachers and school leaders say they don’t have the energy to carry on and will leave the profession as soon as they can.”

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