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Why Teachers leave the Profession, and what they do next!

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PLEASE NOTE: This article has now been updated, with the latest version of the story available by clicking here.

The reasons why teachers leave the profession and following other careers have continually been the focus for research, but very little follow up research has explored the career paths teachers follow once they quit the profession.

Our on-going online survey (click here to participate) has asked teachers across the world why colleagues have left the profession, as well as what different career path they followed. We have compiled an infographic to summarise the answers (click image to enlarge), with full responses below…

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Click on image to enlarge

Here are the responses: (You can sort each column by clicking the arrows on the top row – last updated 13.30 GMT November 18, 2013)

Phase
Reasons for Leaving
Their Next Job
Country of work
Further Education (16-18)Politics, paperworkFreelance creative practitioner
England
Further Education (16-18)Lost money in a restructuring
Construction
England
Further Education (16-18)overload of paperwork, stressful observation processes.Therapist
England
Further Education (16-18)The hours, the marking, the lack of promotion
ConsultantEngland
Further Education (16-18)Frustration with lack of creativity and ability to adapt to the changing times due to test score expectations. Not willing to teach to the test anymore.Tutoring - self employmentUSA
Higher Education (18+)Exhaustion, anxiety & depression exacerbated by poor communication within my institution & lack of vision, cohesion and community within my own dept.I'm going off to run my own businesses!Scotland
Higher Education (18+)Administration, unruly students, politicsPharmacy, Government agencies, UniversityUSA
Primary (5-11)
ofsted, paperwork, levels, levels, levelsauthor
England
Primary (5-11)
Stress
Work for the local council
England
Primary (5-11)
Work load
Social work
England
Primary (5-11)
Stress, long hours, no thanks
Working for family member
England
Primary (5-11)
Behaviour and management by head teacher
Voluntary work abroad
England
Primary (5-11)
Bullying, workload, stress.
HR
England
Primary (5-11)
Ofsted SATs ignoring the whole childWorking with a development NGO in their Schools team
England
Primary (5-11)
Too much pressure, unrealistic expectations
TV producer, wildlife officer, child minder
England
Primary (5-11)
Opportunity, also less stress
Publishing
England
Primary (5-11)
No further career path
Set up own business
England
Primary (5-11)
Earn more money, different challenge
Sales in education
England
Primary (5-11)
Paperwork
Vicar
England
Primary (5-11)Impossible demands.MarketingEngland
Primary (5-11)
Couldn't get a nqt year job
Nursing
England
Primary (5-11)Students' behavior was so difficult to manage that as the person aged, it became apparent that it would no longer be a healthy choice to remain in teaching.AdministrationUSA
Primary (5-11)Bullying and intimidation by Head TeacherNothingEngland
Primary (5-11)Lack of creativity, innovation, trust in me from slt despite great track record + endless paperwork/observations + long hours.Work for education not-for-profit.England
Primary (5-11) balance and intense scrutingBenefits advisorEngland
Primary (5-11)Money, work load, lack of creativity in education. IndustryUSA
Primary (5-11)Behavior of studentsConstructionUSA
Primary (5-11)Lack of permanent jobsPrivate tutoringEngland
(11-16)
Issues at work leading to long term sick & then an agreement to leave
Working in administration
England
Secondary (11-16)
Stress, bullying, too much direction
Consultancy
England
Secondary (11-16)
After Special Measures & constant change. Despite being outstanding teacher he got fed up
New ZealandEngland
Secondary (11-16)
Long hours.Unemployment
England
Secondary (11-16)Childcare costs.
Childcare.
England
Secondary (11-16)
Stress and diskliked morality of judgements
Educational consultant
England
Secondary (11-16)
Solicitor
England
Secondary (11-16)Stress
Banking
England
Secondary (11-16)
Beauracracy, workload, original reason for teaching lost amongst the ever changing politics
Coaching and sports consultant
England
Secondary (11-16)
Wanted experience elsewhere
Financial consultancy
England
Secondary (11-16)
Workload/ job satisfaction
Journalist, police officer, set up own business, stay at home Mum
England
Secondary (11-16)Didn't enjoy the non-teaching workload of middle managementProgramme management at an educational charityEngland
Secondary (11-16)Lack of flexible working - teaching incompatible with being a mother.Run own business in education sector.England
Secondary (11-16)Work/life balance, incompetent colleagues.Software engineerEngland
Secondary (11-16)LibrarianCanada
Secondary (11-16)Low pay, extremely high demands, no respect.
LawUSA
Secondary (11-16)Vocation and self-fulfilmentTranslationEurope (non-)
Secondary (11-16)Unreasonable expectations, long hours, non-productive paperworkSalesUSA
Secondary (11-16)A work and life balance. Low pay, little respect outside of students and . Policies that hurt children. This was someone who was nominated teacher of the year at two different districts.GovernmentUSA
Secondary (11-16)Frustration with administration policies, lack of trust in teachers' judgment and failure to embrace new teaching pedagogy re: technology!Private tutoringUSA
Secondary (11-16)Long hours, stress, uncertainty about having a job the following year despite excellent marks on observationsArt Licensing BusinessUSA
Secondary (11-16)Workload, losing money in Gove reshuffle, lack of communication, no support from SLT, nepotism with school environment meaning no chance to progressSet up own businessEngland
Secondary (11-16)PTSD and extreme anxiety caused by schoolMedically retired at 42England
Secondary (11-16)Bullying from managers and colleagues, impossible workload, feeling unvalued, in the state sector the behaviour is a disgrace and teachers get the blame for it, culture of students grading lessons and sitting on interviews-don't agree with this.JournalismEngland
Secondary (11-16)No permanent jobs after qualifyingStudent Services in HEScotland
Secondary (11-16)Increasing shift to an education system driven by high stakes resultsHead of trainingEngland
Secondary (11-16)Not understanding the 'art of teaching' so finding teaching very difficult. Little support from HOD to understand classroom management techniques etc.Marketing within education sectorEngland
If you, or a known colleague/friend, has left teaching to follow a different career path, we would like to hear from you. Please complete the survey and then contact us at admin@ukedchat.com so we can share your story with the UKEdChat community. For further reading about this topic, please click here to read “Why are teachers leaving education?” by David Weston via Guardian Professional, Thursday 1 August 2013.

Image Source

Infographic Credits:

Image 1; Image 2; Image 3; Image 4; Image 5; Image 6.