Weak leadership, not workload, is forcing teachers to quit

Currently almost half of the fully qualified teachers under the age of 60 are not working in the classroom, and so it seems sensible to ensure that as well as convincing new graduates to give teaching a punt, we make some sort of effort to convince those who’ve already given up a portion of their lives to qualifying as teachers to consider staying in the profession for a bit longer. David Didau, a writer and  independent education consultant writes in Teachwire.

The government’s plan to address the retention crisis is threefold: first, to address the workload issue; second, to try and find ways to make teaching more flexible; and third, to support new teachers with the Early Career Framework. All of these are great ideas – but there’s a real risk none will actually address the root cause.

And that root cause is? The horrible car crash of perverse incentives and weak school leadership. The cliff-edge accountability pressures of league tables and high stakes inspection make it seem desirable to find ways to game the system.

As teachers are such a precious and hard to replace resource, such wastage is criminally irresponsible – and unless school leaders are directly held to account we’re unlikely to be able to deal with it.

One approach would be to make staff turnover part of Ofsted’s judgement on the quality of leadership and management in a school – when too many teachers leave a school it should prompt some fairly searching questions about why this is going on and what the school is trying to do to retain its most valuable asset.

Read the full article Weak leadership, not workload, is forcing teachers to quit 

Do you think Ofsted should be involved in teacher retention? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: DfE, Employment, Ofsted and Teaching.


  1. The paradox at the heart of this argument – too much accountability, so there should be more accountability – illustrates the confusion of external critics of the system. The longer article talks about the ‘guff’ that dominates teachers’ work without ever identifying what this is. The angry supporter (of what exactly?) is shouting incoherently from the sidelines.

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