UK Educational System Is Collapsing: Shocking Figures (Infographic)


The UK educational system that has long been in crisis is now about to collapse!

And this is not an empty threat! The evidence-based report revealed by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) touches upon teacher recruitment and retainment, as well as teacher quality.


Here are the key facts you need to know:

  • The number of teachers quitting their jobs for reasons other than retirement rose from 22,260 (6%) in 2011 to 34,910 (8.1%), in 2016.
  • Between 2010-2016 the overall number of teachers has decreased by 10,800 (4.9%) to 208,200.
  • Although the overall number of pupils has dropped in the UK schools, the pupil-teacher ratio rose from 14.9:1 to 15.6:1.
  • The UK government spent £555 million/year on training new teachers, and only £36 million on teacher retraining and development.
  • The teacher shortage has had its toll in specific UK areas. Midlands and north east of England are suffering the dire consequences. 20% of secondary school students “require improvement or [are] inadequate for teaching, learning, and assessment.”

Why Are UK Teachers Quitting?

The PAC report has arrived like a bolt from the blue as a silent reproach to the UK government. Teachers are leaving before retirement for reasons like excessive workload, inadequate pay, lack of professional development. The report suggests there are two career periods when teachers are most likely to leave: “in the first 3 years after qualifying and as they approach retirement.”

The in-depth workload analysis has shown that in earlier years of their career, teachers tend to work longer. The “unreasonable levels of workload” was mentioned as the primary resignation reason by 84% of respondents. Up next comes “achieving a better work-life balance” mentioned by 83%. Also, high workload was cited by 90% of secondary and 93% of primary teachers as the reason for resignation. Other reasons include the pace of curriculum change and the class size increase.

How Easy Is Hiring Teachers of the Right Quality?

One of the reasons to deem teacher shortage as critical is increase in the UK population. According to the report, 540,000 more pupils are expected to start school by 2025, which creates a rise of 19%. Obviously, the education officials have to take action towards teacher retainment. So, how exactly is the UK government planning to tackle the problem?

At the end of January, the UK schools minister, Nick Gibb urged teacher training providers to consider more entrants. Turns out, the harsh recruitment criteria weeds out a lot of potential candidates. This has to change in favor of teacher assessment at the end of training instead of the beginning. Revising the selection criteria is crucial in a situation of teacher shortage. Just imagine, 50,000 of teacher training applications were rejected last year!

By mid-January 2018, there were only 16,010 applicants to enter the teacher training courses. The drop in the number of applicants is significant compared to the last year’s 22,650.

Tackling the Teacher Shortage Problem

The report suggests teacher retainment strategies for the UK Department of Education to implement:

  • creating a draft of the national vacancy service, which would include the budget, timetable, and the scope;
  • launching the national vacancy service pilot by June 2018 and reporting back to the PCA on the results;
  • reporting back to PCA by June 2018 on the actions the Department has taken to control agency fees and the results achieved;
  • cooperating with the school sector to implement a flexible working schedule for teachers;
  • help to persuade former teachers to return to the profession.

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UK Educational System Is Collapsing: Shocking Figures (Infographic)
UK Educational System Is Collapsing: Shocking Figures (Infographic)
The UK educational system that has long been in crisis is now about to collapse!
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