Record numbers of teachers leaving NSW schools

The number of teachers resigning from NSW public schools has doubled in two years as unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries take their toll.

Leaked Department of Education figures also show that almost one in five teachers are now leaving within their first five years in the profession.

NSWTF president Angelo Gavrielatos said the alarming figures highlighted the recruitment and retention crisis the state was facing and the concealment and lies of the former Coalition Government.

“These figures are a direct reflection of the unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries of teachers,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“In just two years the number of permanent teachers resigning from the profession doubled from 929 in 2020 to 1,854 in 2022. The number is almost triple the 626 who resigned in 2016.

“We now have almost one in five permanent teachers quitting in their first five years of their career (19% in 2022, compared to 11.6% in 2021 and 8.2% in 2018). That is by far the highest rate recorded. A record 4.2% quit within their first year of teaching in 2022.

“We are in serious danger of losing the future of the profession.

“This is the legacy of the Coalition Government. Every year under the Coalition the workload of teachers rose and every year their salaries fell compared to other professions.

“The Coalition failed on salaries and workloads and it is teachers and students who are now paying the price with worsening teacher shortages across NSW.

“Instead of acting on the problem, the Coalition tried to cover it up, claiming there were no teacher shortages and denying unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries were driving people out of the profession.

“Teachers are overworked and underpaid. It is as simple as that. They are working one and a half times the hours they get paid for.

“We already have acute shortages of teachers across NSW and it’s only going to get worse unless there is significant action on salaries and workloads.

National data just released shows just one quarter of NSW teachers believe they will stay in the profession until they retire (25.8% in 2022 compared to 43.6% in 2020). The top reasons for leaving are workload and recognition and reward.

“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.

“We welcome the commitment of the new government to axe the wage cap and reduce the workload of teachers. We look forward to negotiations beginning as soon as possible on a salary increase that will help attract and retain teachers in the profession.

“We also need the government to get moving as quickly as possible on its commitment to cut the administration workloads of teachers.”