One in six secondary teachers quit in a year

THE States secondary schools are set to lose more than 30 teachers by the end of the school year in July.

Deputy Gavin St Pier asked questions about teachers in secondary education. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30667014)
Deputy Gavin St Pier asked questions about teachers in secondary education. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 30667014)

To the end of March, 10 had already quit and a further 21 have resigned and are due to leave soon or at the end of the academic year.

This amounts to one in six of all States secondary teachers, and 5% of all States teachers.

Six of the leavers are deputy or assistant head teachers – two are retiring, two are leaving Guernsey, and two are believed to be moving to a local college.

Three of these vacancies have already been filled, and there have been 14 expressions of interest lodged in the remaining positions. Interviews are due to take place shortly.

Education was responding to questions from Deputy Gavin St Pier, who was concerned about reports of low morale in teaching and reports that secondary teachers are teaching subjects they are not specialist-trained for.

‘It is common practice for many secondary school teachers to teach a proportion of their timetable in subjects other than their main specialism, but in which they are competent to teach. At the present time, there are 31 secondary school teachers (16.8%) who are teaching beyond their first subject specialism for part of their timetable,’ it said.

Reasons for this include sickness or maternity cover, through choice, or to ensure that they have a full timetable.

Education also said that work on a staffing model for the island’s new secondary and post-16 education system was nearing completion, working with unions to finalise engagement and implementation plans. Secondary teachers should be updated over the course of the term.

A quarter of all teachers leaving States schools in the past five years have retired. Of the remainder, those who completed an exit survey said they left because of family commitments (36.5%), work-life balance (31.75%), and career progression (21%).

Three in 10 said that the cost of living was a significant factor in their decision to leave.

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