Why should newly qualified teachers face the same old problem?

Justyn Randall

Thursday, 2 August 2018

It’s a recognised fact that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are being dissuaded from joining the profession because of poor mentoring and negativity in the industry. 

Plummeting teacher training applications, difficulties in recruiting enough staff to fill the vacancies, high tuition fees, unacceptable workloads and budget cuts have all been blamed for the current shortage. 

If you work in education you’ll know how true this is. If you don’t, here are a few facts: 

  • 75% of trainee, student and NQTs have already considered leaving the teaching profession 
  • 54% didn’t think they’d still be teaching in ten years 
  • 24% said they wouldn’t be teaching in five years 

It’s hard to think of another line of work where this happens to such a staggering degree. And the impact of this is becoming catastrophic.

"The number of trainees is falling and it raises serious questions for the government."

-Teaching recruitment expert Prof John Howson Oxford Brookes University.

The figures go on. Nearly a third believe ‘teacher bashing in the press is forcing them out. A quarter said they were fed up with constant attacks on teachers' terms and conditions.

And 25% said ‘challenging’ pupil behaviour has made them consider leaving teaching.

But the single biggest reason given for leaving teaching (87%) is unrealistic workloads. In fact, nearly 80% reported that they didn’t have a healthy work-life balance. And when you dig deeper into that last statistic, you see that during term time almost half NQTs work up to ten hours every weekend.

That means less time to relax, less time with their families and more time worrying. This isn’t just unbelievable and unfair. It’s total unsustainable.

A massive 76% of teachers feel their workload affects their mental health

So what’s the practical answer to this crisis? One route - perhaps inevitably - is education.

Right now, more than 80 higher education institutions in this country provide teacher education courses. These are made up of experienced education experts who work to support the next generation of teachers as they prepare to enter the profession. 

The second approach is to draw on the perspectives of the school employing the NQT, their mentor and the centre that trained them. Then it becomes easier to identify and address issues before they develop into broader problems that can lead them to leave the profession.

This process is also beneficial for the NQT mentors as it allows them to collaborate and share their ideas about the development of NQTs.

This is progress. But at Opogo, we believe there is something more immediate, more personal and more tangible that can be done to help.

We know that when it comes to making changes, teachers say the most beneficial ones would give them more time to plan, prepare and assess (83%), less marking and assessment (71%), more freedom in how they teach (47%), and spending less time focused on exams and tests (46%).

And this is where Opogo comes in. This advanced, personal, tailored technology has been specifically designed make their working lives simpler, easier, more manageable, less stressful and therefore more enjoyable.

We are working hard to revolutionise the way teachers can find, apply and stay in their perfect roles, and how schools can find precisely the right candidates faster and more efficiently.

Members is an online and offline service designed to give them practical help and support in a way that makes those changes happen. Opogo’s advanced technology helps to reduce admin on things like time-sheets and job applications.

It keeps members instantly connected to each other, able to access information and support from experts, creates records of all important documents that be instantly shared with schools and colleagues, keeps a secure, accurate record of payments and invoicing, and so much more.

At Opogo, we have a deep respect and admiration for anyone working in this most challenging – and rewarding – of sectors. And with a personal relationship in this field, I want to help wherever I can. This is why I created Opogo: to help transform the lives of NQT and experienced teachers through smart, simple-to-use technology.

Plans and initiatives and government-backed schemes are great and certainly have their place. But Opogo is instant, controllable, own-able and valuable. And that is what makes it so exciting, because members are seeing the results of this service every minute of the day.

And as we’re always talking to more people in the profession to keep up to date with the latest challenges, we’re always improving what we do.

To find out more about OPOGO, and to join us on our journey, do get in touch.



About the CEO


Justyn Randall

CEO  |  Founder

With extensive experience and strategic skill in building leading global marketing businesses across multiple sectors, Justyn is the CEO and founder of Opogo.

From his deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, Justyn launched Opogo with the prime motivation of transforming the experience of educators within the industry.

Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts. And through our ever-evolving Smart Match technology, teachers can be booked for work simply and quickly.

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