Concerns over number of newly qualified teachers quitting the classroom

NQTs are quitting due to stress and work load

NQTs are quitting due to stress and work load

Education bosses have defended the number of teachers leaving the profession within the first year because of stress and work load pressures.

Nationally there are fears there is a “crisis” as almost two-fifths of teachers are not in the classroom a year after finishing their training.

But Geoff Robinson, leader of Suffolk & Norfolk Initial Teacher Training, which trains the most new teachers in Suffolk, said local figures were bucking the trend. According to the latest figures for 2013/14, 7% of the 312 newly-qualified teachers (NQT) left before completing their induction period.

It is still a rise on 2012/13 and 2011/12’s figures, when only 1% of the 279 NQTs left.

Mr Robinson said: “Last year Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training contributed 90 NQTs to Suffolk schools, the overwhelming majority of whom remained in teaching through their first year and beyond.

“Two of the reasons for this high level of retention is that trainees go through a rigorous selection process to get onto our courses and once accepted are immersed in school life from the beginning of the programme and throughout the school year.

“This prepares trainees well for the rigours of teaching, giving them a realistic expectation of what it means to be a teacher.

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“It can be very challenging but is the most rewarding of jobs.”

Graham White, secretary of Suffolk’s National Union of Teachers, said: “The transition from ‘student’ to NQT is a big one and a lot of pressure is put on NQTs. This is particularly the case in Suffolk because of the approach Suffolk takes to educational standards, i.e. we are doing less well than our comparable authorities.”

A county council spokesman said: “Teaching is a challenging but rewarding career, whilst it is true that some newly qualified teachers choose to leave the profession, the vast majority make an excellent impact in the schools where they work.”

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