Plaid warns teaching profession in Wales heading for a “perfect storm”

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Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Llyr Gruffydd AM, has today warned that the education sector in Wales faces a staffing crisis over the coming years unless the Labour Welsh Government takes the necessary steps to improve retention levels.

The National Education Workforce Survey published today reveals that 1 in 3 teachers asked intend to leave the profession in the next 3 years, with 88% noting that they are unable to cope with workload demands.

The Survey also notes that 71% of supply teachers and 38% of school teachers were not very, or not at all, familiar with the Donaldson Review’s recommendations.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Llyr Gruffydd AM said:

“This report is a damning reflection of the Labour Government’s failure to make teaching an attractive profession for people in Wales.

“Not only are the figures alarming in terms of the number of those who note they cannot cope with workload demands – a staggering 88% - the Survey also shows the potentially damaging impact of this failure to protect staff welfare on the education sector as a whole.

“1 in 3 teachers surveyed noted that they intend to leave the teaching profession in the next three years. On top of this, recent figures show that teaching days lost to stress related illness has more than doubled from 21,000 in 2009 to 52,000 in 2015.

“Figures also show that teacher training centres in Wales have failed to reach their intake targets for both primary and secondary teachers.

“We are heading for a perfect storm of factors that will lead to a staffing crisis in the teaching profession unless the Labour Welsh Government gets to grip with the problem.

“It is also worrying that many teachers remain unfamiliar with the key recommendations of the Donaldson review. Plaid Cymru has always stressed the importance of making sure that implementation of education reforms is conducted as effectively as possible.

“If we want a smooth transition to the new Donaldson curriculum then we have to have Donaldson-ready teachers.

“I would urge the Labour Welsh Government to bring forward a comprehensive plan that will secure a workforce fit for the future and allay the fears of parents and pupils alike.”

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