Workload and pay are key reasons behind the retention crisis in schools, but not the whole story. The role of empowerment and autonomy cannot be underestimated, says Matthew Godfrey

Almost one in 10 teachers quit in 2021/22 (8.8%) while almost a quarter (23.9%) of early career teachers walk away after only three years at the chalkface – this according to the latest Department for Education workforce data (for details, SecEd’s coverage here).

Furthermore, a recent National Education Union poll of nearly 1,800 teachers suggests that almost half of the teachers who responded will quit within the next five years (NEU, 2022).

The most common reason for wanting to leave is due to “excessive workload”. Teaching unions say that the continuing real-terms pay cuts and general underfunding of education are significant contributing factors.

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