Azara Blog: Surprise, some teachers do not end up teaching

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Date published: 2007/12/27

The BBC says:

More than 250,000 qualified teachers no longer work in England's schools, the Conservative Party says.

And nearly 100,000 switched careers between 2000 and 2005 - more than double the number that left in the preceding five-year period.

The Tories say their findings - based on government figures - point to rising numbers leaving the profession because of poor class discipline and red tape.

But Schools Minister Jim Knight said recruitment was "buoyant".

Figures also show that thousands of people who train and qualify as teachers never go on to work in schools and this appears to have increased in recent years.

The government statistics show that of those who qualified in 2000, 2,100 never taught in schools. This rose steadily to 2005 (the latest available), when 7,900 of those who qualified have never taught.

An incredibly bad BBC article, just amounting to a repeat of what is effectively a Tory press release. The Tories can well claim that teachers leave teaching because of "poor class discipline and red tape" but they present no evidence. And the figures quoted for teachers who qualify and do not go on to teach in schools has no context given so we have no way of knowing whether these numbers are good or bad or (most likely) indifferent. The BBC should have quoted the absolute number of teachers qualifying in 2000 and 2005, and should have compared the percentage of teachers who don't end up teaching with percentages for other professions, e.g. the medical and legal professions. Otherwise the numbers are meaningless. All in all this article is just Tory propaganda kindly regurgitated by the BBC. (The BBC, trying to be "objective", gives some space to government counter-spin at the bottom of the article, but that is hardly worth anything either.)

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