Early career retention improves slightly, but 8% of teachers still quit

Almost one in 10 teachers quit in 2020/21 and while teacher retention rates have improved slightly for early career teachers (ECTs), they are still worsening for more experienced colleagues, workforce data shows.

Furthermore, experts are warning that there could still be more teacher and headteacher resignations to come as Covid’s effect on recruitment and retention disappears.

For the moment, the latest data from the Department for Education (DfE, 2022) shows that the proportion of teachers quitting during their first five years of teaching has fallen.

For example, the proportion of teachers still teaching after three years at the chalkface now stands at 77% (up from its recent low of 73%), while the proportion still teaching after five years is 68.8% (up from a low of 65.4%).

However, the figures come with a warning – the data was collected in November 2021, a period when retention rates rose due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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