Report commissioned by National Education Union. July 2023

The quality of the education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. But this Government has made the profession less and less
attractive to new graduates.

This important report exposes how hard teachers’ working lives have become. It makes a clear, succinct and powerful case that the intensity of teachers’ work is unsustainable.  The Department for Education ignores how stressful teaching has become in favour of working time – but it is an intrinsic and essential issue when considering work quality and discretion – being treated professionally to do a professional job.

Many other professions have embraced hybrid working since the pandemic and have made those careers more attractive, but this is not possible in education. The disparity between teaching and other professions has caused the number of graduates training to become a teacher to collapse.

Unless teachers achieve more rewarding and less stressful working lives, then the exodus from the profession will continue and the dearth of new applicants will remain. The damage to children and young people’s education will remain too.

Politicians and the media need to read and absorb the important messages in this report and act on them to give teachers back the professional respect they deserve.