Large increase in the number of early career teachers leaving schools

The number of permanent public school teachers leaving in the first five years of their career in NSW has jumped to a 13 year high as unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries take their toll.

The NSW Government figures for 2021 show 11.6% of teachers (or 1 in 9) left in the first five years of their career.

That is the highest number since 2008 and almost 50% higher than the 2020 rate of 7.9 per cent.

NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said the true rate of early career teachers leaving would be far higher because the government figures only reflect the one third of early career teachers who are in permanent positions and not the two thirds in insecure temporary or casual employment.

These alarming figures reflect what we hear every day and that is more and more teachers are leaving because of unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries, he said.

We are in real danger of losing the future of the profession at a time when we can least afford to with widespread teacher shortages, rising enrolments, an ageing workforce and the number of people studying to become a teacher dropping by 30 per cent.

The situation is so bad that research conducted by a parliamentary committee shows 60 per cent of teachers are looking to leave the profession in the next five years

It is only by acting on unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries that this government can reduce the number of teachers leaving and make the profession more attractive to the high achievers we urgently need.

Mr Gavrielatos said the Federation had written to the Premier calling for the government to abandon attempts to impose a new award at 2.53% p.a. for three years on October 12 in the Industrial Relations Commission.

Delivering teachers a pay rise far below inflation means a real wage cut and that will only make it harder to recruit and retain the teachers we need. The government is also refusing to make any meaningful change to unsustainable workloads.

We have called on the Premier to sit down and negotiate an agreement that will help NSW fix the teacher shortages and ensure we can recruit and retain teachers.”