According to a report in the Telegraph, nearly a third of teachers who began work in England's state schools in 2010 were not in the classroom five years later, official figures show. Around 7,200 of the 24,100 newly qualified teachers who joined schools in November 2010 had left the profession by 2015, according to figures published by schools minister Nick Gibb. Around one in eight (13%) had left after just a year.
The Government insisted that teacher retention rates have been "broadly stable" for the last 20 years, but the Liberal Democrats warned that ministers must work with teachers to deal with the factors that make the profession feel "demoralised and under-valued".
The statistics, revealed in response to a written ministerial question submitted by Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland, show that of those who joined the profession in November 2010, 87% were still in the classroom a year later and 82% were working as teachers two years later.
This dropped to 77% after three years, 73% after four years and 70% after five years.
Lib Dem education spokesman John Pugh said: "This is a damming record for Michael Gove's time as education secretary.
"It is bad enough that dedicated teachers are being driven away from the profession they love, but this is also laying the foundations for a disastrous teaching shortage in years to come if we cannot train new teachers fast enough to replace the ones which leave.
"The Government must urgently work with the teaching community to address the many factors which are making teachers feel demoralised and under-valued, as well as reversing their devastating cuts to school budgets which are putting increasing pressure on teachers and schools."
A Department for Education spokesman said: "Teaching remains an attractive career and we have more teachers entering our classrooms than those choosing to leave or retire.
"Teacher retention has been broadly stable for 20 years and the annual average salaries for teachers in the UK are also greater than the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average, and higher than many of Europe's high-performing education systems like Finland, Norway or Sweden.
"We want every child to have access to great teachers that aren't weighed down with unnecessary workload so they have the time and freedom to do what they do best - inspire the next generation.
"We recognise teachers' concerns and are continuing to work with the sector to find constructive solutions to this issue."
Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: "It is deeply regrettable that so many people have chosen to leave teaching, when we need new teachers more than ever.
"Despite high demand, there has been a consistent shortfall in the numbers recruited to training courses since 2010. On top of this, schools are now experiencing increased difficulties in retaining staff.
"Ministers need to ask themselves why this is happening, and to take immediate action. They need to face the fact that schools have become more difficult and less rewarding places in which to work."
Source: The Telegraph