Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Unmanageable workload, uncompetitive pay, and an overbearing accountability system is rendering the teaching profession unattractive to many. The National Foundation for Educational Research’s recent report on the teacher labour market concludes that more needs to be done to reduce workload if retention levels are to improve. 

“In the latest State of Education poll of NEU members 44% of England’s state-school teachers said they plan to quit by 2027, half of those (22%) intend to leave within two years.  Schools are struggling to fill vacant posts, leading to a doubling up of roles with 73% of teachers saying this has worsened since the start of the pandemic. Over half (52%) of teachers say their workload is either ‘unmanageable’ or ‘unmanageable most of the time’, up from 35% in 2021 and two-thirds of teachers in state-funded schools in England feel stressed at least 60% of the time. This is unsustainable.   

“If the Government is serious about raising the achievement of all pupils, then it must be serious about teacher workload and wellbeing. This requires urgent changes to punitive accountability, class sizes, teaching time, PPA time, marking, and a faster solution to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis. 

“Performance-related pay has failed to have a positive impact on pupils and failed to have a positive impact on the teaching profession. Nationally negotiated, fair-pay scales, alongside a national contract for education that addresses workload, wellbeing and working conditions will benefit learners as well as education staff. 

“This is a dismal state of affairs from a Government that says it wants a world class education system while treating those they expect to run it so appallingly. The NEU will continue to support members in the workplace to insist on decent working conditions, to continue to fight for fair pay and pensions and to work towards an accountability system that supports all our children and supports schools and colleges.”


Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.