Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), has lashed out at the government’s record on schools.

She addressed the ATL annual conference in Liverpool by dropping the bombshell that an estimated 40 per cent of new teachers drop out of the profession within the first year.

She told delegates this figure represented a three-fold increase in teacher loss within six years; the consequences of which are incalculable.

The latest government figures back up Ms Bousted’s assertion. In 2011, just 62 per cent of teachers who gained their qualified teaching status were still in schools a year later. This is a drop from 80 per cent in 2005.

Ms Bousted labelled it ‘a dismal retention rate’.

“This crisis is happening right at the very start of teachers’ careers. Teachers are leaving in their first year, or not starting teaching when they have completed their training.”

She neglected to mention the huge number who forced out even before completing their degree.

“Why are we losing the next generation of teachers – that new blood for the profession which should be bright-eyed and bushy tailed, full of promise and ambition?

A recent ATL survey suggest 73 per cent of trainees and newly qualified teachers considered leaving the profession, with 76 per cent of them blaming the heavy workload.

But this isn’t the only reason.

School bullying isn’t confined to the students.

Numerous reports of intimidation, withholding support, nepotism, and outright nastiness have flooded into the Education Department seeking resolution.

Lack of job security in teaching contracts is another factor affecting teachers’ decision to flee the profession.

By far, however, is the pressure put on teachers. They are at the epicentre of demands from parents, principals, students, and government; each of whom is pulling them in a different direction.

Of equal concern is teachers’ disgust with the way ham-fisted, short-sighted, and totalitarian way in which government bodies have forced student curriculums upon teachers who plainly see it failing their students.

Either the students are unequal to the subject or the subject is unequal to the student. No matter which, students are failing to receive the education they deserve and teachers don’t want to waste their time being a part of a failing system.

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