Gender inequality and workload is driving women out of teaching, research says

According to research by the NASUWT union, more than half of women feel “generally or very pessimistic” about their future in teaching.

A real-time electronic poll of attendees at the annual Women Teachers’ Consultation Conference revealed that 36 per cent of respondents said they had been treated “less favourably” at work because they are a woman.

In addition to this, two-thirds said their mental and physical health is being damaged by their workload, 21 per cent said that their most important priority in their career right now is to leave teaching, 52 per cent feel angry about their pay over the last few years, and 55 per cent believe the prospect of their pay is likely to become worse.

The union’s general secretary, Chris Keates, commented: “Excessive workload and attacks on teachers’ working conditions are having a profoundly negative effect on women teachers’ mental and physical health and wellbeing and undermining the quality of education for children and young people.

“The number of women saying they feel pessimistic about their future in the profession and the number saying their priority is to leave teaching must give employers and government pause for thought about the urgency of the need to create a teaching profession which genuinely values and supports all women teachers.

“It is not overstating the point to say that the future of the teaching profession depends on it.”

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