Employers Need to Step up to Retain Teachers
ACDE President, Professor Tania Aspland, says, ‘We must address the myriad workforce issues that lead to 30% to 50% of early career teachers quitting the profession during their first five years in the classroom’.
The push to attract more students to maths and science teaching is vital but the singular focus on STEM teaching is overshadowing the pressing need to stop so many young teachers, who have already graduated, from leaving the profession.
‘Employers, which are state governments largely, need to lift their game because we know that the increasing casualisation of the workforce, in which graduates are employed on intermittent short-term contracts, is a major problem,’ Professor Aspland says.
‘It may be more economical for the employers to save two months of holiday pay each year by only contracting a teacher from February to November, or for shorter periods to fill gaps, but it does nothing to help the profession,’ Professor Aspland says.
Young teachers on short-term contracts do not have job security, structured ongoing professional development or the mentoring vital to their development during their early years in the classroom.
‘Long-term engagement underpins quality teaching. Employers need to guarantee a lifelong career with opportunities for promotion to those graduates who have the passion, personal attributes and academic achievements needed for teaching as a vocation,’ Professor Aspland says.