Today (4 Dec) young teachers across the country gathered to discuss pay erosion, unprecedented workload, and pressures on workplace wellbeing during an online conference organised by the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union.
The Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference 2021 focussed on the theme of “The Future of Work”, featuring sessions on classroom technology, work-life balance, mental health and online safety.
During the Conference, NASUWT members participated in an online poll which found that 80% of young teachers felt the disruption caused by COVID-19 had restricted or prevented their career progression. 75% of young teachers surveyed reported that changes to working practices in response to COVID-19 had been largely negative.
The results coincide with Department for Education’s publication of the Initial Teacher Training Census 2021/22, which has this week revealed that secondary school teacher recruitment target had been missed. The decline in recruitment continues a worrying trend in falling recruitment and retention of teachers that threatens the future of the education sector.
NASUWT Deputy General Secretary, Jane Peckham, who addressed the conference, said:
“Teaching is a rewarding and enriching vocation but pay erosion and unprecedentedly high workloads remain obstacles to recruitment and are forcing young teachers to leave out before their careers have even begun.
The pandemic been disruptive to students – that includes student teachers and newly qualified teachers too. They have commenced their careers confronted with some of the greatest challenges they are likely to face for the entirety of their working lives. Not only do we have to recover the learning lost through successive lockdowns, but we need to recover the lost mentoring opportunities for student and newly qualified teachers, alongside pay lost to inflation and rising cost of living.
“The future of education is at a crossroads. It’s up to the Government to invest in the next generation of educators who will deliver high quality education for many future generations to come.”