Mass exodus of experienced teachers in South Australia
And probably similar elsewhere. Schools today are a much less pleasant working environment than they once were
NEARLY a third of the state's public school teachers aged 45-plus will retire within five years, raising concerns schools will face grave staff shortages, particularly in country areas.
The University of Adelaide's Career Intentions Survey of more than 3000 public teachers aged 45 and over, found high schools would be hardest hit. Nearly 38 per cent of secondary teachers who responded to the survey said they planned to leave by 2015. The teachers union said serious staff shortages in rural areas already existed and that extensive recruitment programs needed to be put in place to keep teaching graduates from leaving the state.
The 2010 annual report by the Teachers Registration Board found there are 15,948 registered teachers aged 45-60, however, not all may be in teaching positions. The national average retirement age of teachers is 58.
Australian Education Union SA branch vice president David Smith said the large number of retiring teachers would add to the severe relief teacher shortages in regional areas such as Port Augusta and in subject specialist roles such as maths, science and technology.
Mr Smith cited the changes to the South Australian Certificate of Education and the national curriculum as a contributor to older educators wanting to leave the workforce early.
An AEU survey last week showed 84 per cent of educators believed the new SACE reforms would cause "excessive workloads". The report by the university's Australian Institute of Social Research also found:
MORE than half of the teachers aged over 55 intend to retire within five years.
RETIREMENT of preschool teachers and junior primary teachers is expected to peak in ten years.
TWO-THIRDS indicated an interest in casual employment after retirement.
There are 311 full time teaching students who started full-time studies this year at the University of Adelaide, 2807 full-time teaching students at UniSA and 612 at Flinders.
Education Minister Jay Weatherill said the department's teacher recruitment strategy, which was announced last month, was aimed at attracting enthusiastic young people into the profession.