Perhaps I'm missing something blindingly obvious

  Forum Editor 15:52 28 Jan 2019

but I can't understand why government ministers don't realise that the way to attract more people into the teaching profession - and keep them there - is simply to make the profession more attractive in terms of salaries, instead of handing out cash lump sums as incentives from time to time.

Teaching has always been said to be a vocation, and that's where the problem lies - like nurses, teachers are generally highly motivated, and feel a strong sense of responsibility towards those in their care. It has enabled successive governments to undervalue them when budgets are being considered.

I know that I am not by any means alone in considering education to be the single most important factor in the development of a successful and prosperous society, so why don't politicians get the message?

  john bunyan 16:18 28 Jan 2019

I have a couple of granddaughters with good degrees ( Durham And UCL). One gives extra tuition at A Level either face to face or via Skype and I think, with a Masters, could work in a private school. The other went on a special teacher course which leads to a Masters. She was placed in a very challenging school in S London, working 12 hours a day. What with preparing lessons, marking homework. After about 6 months the lack of enforcement of discipline and trying to deal with 17 year old , mainly Afro- Caribbean students, she had to give up. I think such teacher training should start in a more disciplined school, moving to the difficult ones after experience and maturity. Pay is poor at the bottom end but I think at head of department level and above is ok, bearing in mind the long holidays.

  wee eddie 17:25 28 Jan 2019

Our Government considers that to get the best CEO, you must offer a bigger salary and an annual Bonus.

When it comes to Teachers, Doctors and Nurses, the less you offer the better, or so it seems

  rickf 17:44 28 Jan 2019

In part money is important but lots of people left or are put off training because of the "out of control behaviour of teens here." When my son finished Uni. he and his friends considered going into teaching but one and all thought the classroom environment was impossible to control. That said, a couple did go in with the aim of teaching in primary schools where it was felt to be more manageable.

  Quickbeam 21:42 28 Jan 2019

A friend of mine, in his 30s, and teaching 6th form business studies and economics has been in Dubai since the end of last summer's holidays.

He's on a 3 year contract, loads of money tax free and went for that very reason.

He'll come back as he likes teaching in Britain, but not before he can buy a house and do the job without having to worry about how he can afford to live.

  BT 09:06 29 Jan 2019

..out of control behaviour..

A very valid point.

A female friend of ours who had been a Teacher for many years and was a Head of Department had to give up teaching because of just this reason. She had a serious breakdown caused by the constant unrelenting stress. After many months off work she eventually took early retirement and took a job in a Garden Centre.

  rickf 09:12 29 Jan 2019

BT, it seems a taboo subject as it's not politically correct for politicians to tackle this. There is something not quite right when teenagers are don't know how to behave. No sense of occasion and respect.

  bremner 09:42 29 Jan 2019

The issues that have been raised are relevant particularly in secondary education. However in primary education the main issue impacting on retention is workload.

My daughter in law is a primary teacher and her working day is usually a minimum 0800-1800 at the school (often earlier and later with meetings and parent evenings) then a further 3-4 hours at home marking or planning with a further 8-10 hours over the weekend.

On average I estimate she works on average 80 hours a week. Holidays, particularly half terms, also require time spent working.

Burn out is common. Simply giving them more pay is not a solution in itself. More money for additional staff and less constant political changes to ciriculums, exams etc. Are the real solutions.

  Cymro. 10:45 29 Jan 2019

F.E. so why don't politicians get the message?

With politicians everything's short term isn't it. They don't even see that in the long term there is money to be saved by having our children properly educated.

  oresome 14:23 29 Jan 2019

so why don't politicians get the message?

Raising taxes to fund public spending is unpopular.

Easier to do if the economy is growing nicely and tax revenue can naturally grow with it, but with an economy that has struggled since the financial crash, which happened over ten years ago, taking more tax for one thing will impact somewhere else.

  qwbos 00:51 30 Jan 2019

The introduction of comprehensive education seemed to trigger a slide that's never really stopped. Too many kids stuck in a system that's designed for everybody to get an academic qualification, many of which are worthless, whereas many would be far better off getting out of education and into work at an earlier age. What happened to learning a trade on the job?

If you have kids stuck in school who feel left out or out of place, you'll inevitably get disruption, and teachers end up spending more time trying to control a class than teaching.

Add in falling standards of parental care/discipline and it's not difficult to see why teaching becomes less attractive. I'm surprised that anybody leaving school nowadays would even consider going back into a school to teach unless they'd gone to a very good school themselves. Going into an average/below average school as a young teacher must be one hell of a shock.

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