England May Face Shortage of Teachers

November 27, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. morale / məˈræl / (n.) – feelings of enjoyment and interest
Example: The company improved its benefits to boost the employees’ morale.

2. alarmingly / əˈlɑr mɪŋ li / (adv.) – in a disturbing or worrying manner
Example: Schools in the country have an alarmingly low number of classrooms.

3. carry out / ˈkær i aʊt / (v. phrase) – to do, perform, or accomplish
Example: The university carried out a study involving professionals.

4. balloon / bəˈlun / (v.) – to increase quickly
Example: The number of university enrollees balloons year after year.

5. stable / ˈsteɪ bəl / (adj.) – describing something that is steady or not changing
Example: Many students expect to have stable jobs after graduation.


Read the text below.
The number of teachers in England may decrease by more than half in two years, a new survey says.

Results of a recent poll conducted by market research firm YouGov and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) revealed that 53% of teachers in England are planning to quit their profession in the next two years. Too much work and low morale, among others, stood as the two major reasons for this alarmingly high figure.

Based on previous research carried out by the NUT in 2014, a number of teachers were reportedly spending around 60 hours a week at work. Aside from their regular teaching tasks, teachers are also expected to put in extra hours for grading or marking students’ work, planning lessons, managing data, organizing extra-curricular activities, and other school responsibilities.

According to Christine Blower, the NUT’s general secretary, the government’s measures and policies to address teacher workload concerns are not good enough. The government’s misdirected priorities are the primary reason why the percentage of teachers giving up has ballooned, Blower said.

Last July, other professionals in the education circle criticized Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools, for saying that there is no crisis in teacher recruitment in England. He insisted that the vacancy rate for teachers in England continued to be stable at about one percent.

Upon release of NUT’s recent poll, Gibb commented that even with the high percentage of teachers thinking to leave, teaching is still a “hugely popular profession.” Gibb also said the number of ex-teachers returning to the profession has continued to increase annually.

Despite this, he admitted that the government needs to take necessary actions to tackle issues on excessive teacher workload.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from low morale and a heavy workload, what else might make teachers quit their profession?
·         Aside from decreasing their workload, what other measures can the government take to ensure retention of teachers?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the primary reasons workers quit their jobs?
·         How can a company/institution keep its employees motivated and satisfied with their jobs?

November 27, 2015