ALMOST half of all new teachers are planning to leave the profession within 10 years, a national survey has found. The survey of 1732 public school teachers with one to three years' experience found that 47.9 per cent expected to leave the profession within a decade. The survey adds to concerns about a looming teacher shortage, with half the permanent teachers in NSW due to retire by 2016.
A report by the NSW Auditor-General released last month found that more than 16,000 teachers, a third of the state's school teacher workforce, will reach retirement age by 2012.
The survey to be released today by the Australian Education Union has found that pay, workload and class sizes, and behaviour management are the main reasons public school teachers give for wanting to leave. Almost half those surveyed had changed careers to enter the profession.
More than half the teachers who planned to leave within 10 years said they would work in another industry. About 27 per cent said they would leave the public system to teach in a private school.
The union's federal president, Angelo Gavrielatos, said the survey signalled an urgent need for the Federal Government to commit extra funding to public schools to stem the exodus.
"This is a national issue and it is the Federal Government's responsibility to commit targeted funding to address the areas of need in Australian public schools," he said. "New teachers also have concerns about their training, with nearly 30 per cent rating their pre-service teacher education as preparing them poorly or very poorly for the reality of teaching."
The federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, said the Government was committed to increasing the "quality and relevance" of teacher training and to finding new ways to attract the best and brightest.