It’s a familiar story. Talented individuals join the teaching profession excited to make a difference to young people’s lives only to find that after a few terms they are totally depleted from working close to 70 hours per week in a job from which it is impossible to switch off. One recent study suggested that 25% of those who qualified since 2011 had already left the profession within 5 years, exhausted from a relentless cycle of arriving in school at the crack of dawn, supporting a vast range of pupils’ needs (for which they are often insufficiently resourced), managing data, responding to emails, attending meetings, and often working late into the night to plan for the next day’s lessons. And that’s to say nothing of the constant pressure they are under to ensure pupils achieve their academic targets, the threat of the next observation or the frustration of having to adhere to short-term policies introduced by schools scrambling around for something that will tick a box for Ofsted or boost their position in the league tables.
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