Are we expecting too much from our teachers?

The chief inspector for Ofsted has said thousands of teachers are being enticed to work abroad with lucrative pay packages as schools in England struggle with a recruitment crisis.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 6:00 am
We must keep teachers motivated

About 18,000 qualified teachers have left the UK to teach abroad. That’s at least 1,000 more than the number of those who trained on English post-graduate pathways.

And British public schools in areas across the world have contributed to a rise in international schools.

Recently I was watching a video about a sports teacher who moved to Hong Kong to develop his career.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He claimed to miss the lifestyle of Britain, but added a Skype call and cheap flights meant it was easy to keep in contact with loved ones.

If he has the desire to work abroad, I would understand. Although it isn’t just that.

The pay package and benefits which came with the job were also an attraction for this newly-qualified teacher.

With more opportunity to develop in his job abroad and with an apartment as part of the package, it suddenly became a brilliant offer.

I know people who work in education are overworked at times. Even though I have limited understanding about being a teacher, I can see several people exhausted and weighed down by the vast responsibility.

It really is sad to witness so many teachers dreading their shift when it was something I knew those who taught me were really passionate about.

Now, being tired doesn’t cripple your passion, but it can have a major effect on your attitudes and approach in numerous ways.

I’m not entirely surprised to see this country struggling to recruit new teachers.

You could argue the government is successfully pulling education down bit by bit.

But give education secretary Nicky Morgan her due. Some decisions made by her and the team work better than those in previous years.

In anything I can find the positives and negatives. But I think it’s important we face facts that fewer people are applying for educational jobs in the UK.

We must stand firm to protect our education system and really appreciate the work of all teachers. Inspiring young pupils should be something teachers see as an honour and not an added chore. I understand the competitiveness of our education system compared to others across the world.

But let’s not zap every bit of motivation out of those who keep it alive.