Demand and Supply of Primary and Secondary School Teachers ... Primary and Secondary School Teachers

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Transcript of Demand and Supply of Primary and Secondary School Teachers ... Primary and Secondary School Teachers

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    Demand and Supply of Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Australia

    Part E (i)

    Qualitative research National Survey of Teachers

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    Table of Contents

    The Survey of Teachers............................................................................................................ 6

    Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 6 Background ....................................................................................................................... 6 Broad characteristics of survey participants........................................................................ 6 Age distribution.................................................................................................................. 7 Years worked by teachers.................................................................................................. 8 Employment status of teachers .......................................................................................... 9 Teachers qualifications.................................................................................................... 11 Qualifications by teaching level....................................................................................... 11

    Teachers current study or future study plans ................................................................... 12 Reason for further study ................................................................................................. 13

    Secondary teaching specialisations.................................................................................. 14 Gender of teachers by specialisation (first main subject) ................................................. 17 Teaching subjects outside of their first or second subject qualification............................. 18 Teacher gender by teaching specialisation by age .......................................................... 21

    Allocation of work time ..................................................................................................... 25 Factors that are important in attracting and retaining teachers .......................................... 29 Careers before entering teaching.................................................................................... 29 Motivations for becoming a teacher ................................................................................ 29 Teacher training ............................................................................................................. 30 School environment and working conditions issues that are important in teaching career decisions........................................................................................................................ 32 Things that bothered teachers ........................................................................................ 36 Absences from teaching ................................................................................................. 42 Thinking of career change? ............................................................................................ 44 Changes of school.......................................................................................................... 45

    Teachers suggestions on encouraging teachers to stay in their profession....................... 46 Comparison of suggestions on retaining teachers by gender........................................... 47 Suggestions for retaining teachers by government or non-government sectors................ 49 Suggestions for retaining teachers by metropolitan and non-metropolitan teachers ......... 49

    Factors to attract people to teaching................................................................................. 50 Comparison of factors to attract teachers by primary and secondary teachers................. 52 Comparison of factors to attract teachers by government and non-government teachers ...................................................................................................................................... 53 Comparison of factors to attract teachers by Metropolitan and non-metropolitan teachers ...................................................................................................................................... 54

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    The Survey of Teachers

    Executive summary

    The paper outlines the results of a national survey of teachers on factors that are important in attracting and retaining teachers. The survey was conducted by the Department of Education, Science and Training on behalf of MCEETYA in the third and fourth school terms in 2002.

    The aim was to survey around 2,500 randomly selected teachers from government and non- government schools, in metropolitan and non-metropolitan Australia, and from primary and secondary schools. Survey responses indicate that teachers surveyed are broadly representative of the wider teaching workforce. In total, 2,335 teachers responded to the survey of which around 56 per cent worked in metropolitan schools (1,317) and about 44 per cent in non-metropolitan schools (1,038).

    The majority of survey respondents were Australian born or were long term Australian residents. Just over 70 per cent of respondents were female, and just over half the respondents were primary school teachers. Over 70 per cent of the respondents worked in government schools. Nearly 56 per cent of teachers worked in metropolitan schools.

    Notably, more than half of the teachers surveyed were aged over 45, highlighting the potential for a high level of retirement from this occupation in the next decade and beyond. Given that teachers had on average been employed for over 17 years at the time of the survey, the data suggest that Australia stands to lose not only substantial numbers of teachers, but also a significant proportion of teaching experience.

    The data also reinforces the widespread perception that the majority of Mathematics and Science teachers are older males, while most English and Languages Other Then English teachers are female. Most secondary teachers taught in their first or second teaching specialisation although a surprisingly high proportion did not.

    The majority of survey respondents were permanent employees and just over 85 per cent of respondents worked full-time.

    The survey results suggest that, for all respondents, the main factors suggested as important in retaining teachers are:

    1. Improved remuneration (24.6 per cent);

    2. Increased resources/reduced workload (23.3 per cent);

    3. Improved employment conditions other than remuneration (19.1 per cent);

    4. Improved professional standing in the community (12.7 per cent);

    5. Reduced class sizes (9.4 per cent)

    6. Improved student behaviour (5.6 per cent);

    7. Increased autonomy (1.4 per cent).

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    The results were similar for female and male respondents except that proportionally more male teachers made the suggestion for improved remuneration.

    Table 1

    Suggestions for retaining teachers by female and male teachers

    Female Per cent Male

    Per cent

    Increased resources/reduced workload 24.1 Increased resources/reduced workload 27.6 Improved remuneration 23.3 Improved remuneration 21.5 Improved employment conditions other than pay 18.4 Improved employment conditions other than pay 20.6 Improved professional standing 13.6 Improved professional standing 10.6 Reduced class sizes 10.0 Reduced class sizes 7.9 Inmproved student behaviour 5.5 Inmproved student behaviour 6.0 Increase autonomy 1.1 Increase autonomy 1.9

    Teachers were also asked to rate the importance to them of aspects of teaching conditions and the school environment. The most important factors, for all survey respondents, in making career decisions with respect to working conditions and the school environment in this survey (with a rating of 5) included:

    1. Effective measures for handling student behaviour (77.3 per cent);

    2. Good leadership (75 per cent);

    3. Familiarity with subjects taught (69 per cent);

    4. Job security (62 per cent); and

    5. Administrators and managers are supportive and recognise achievement (61.3 per cent).

    Turning to factors that may detract from teachers enjoyment of their work, the main factors included:

    1. Lack of resources or time (874 or 37.1 per cent);

    2. Student welfare issues (479 or 20.3 per cent);

    3. Attitude problems of parents and the community (397 or 16.9 per cent);

    4. Employment conditions other than remuneration (227 or 9.6 per cent);

    5. Lack of autonomy or creativity (174 or 7.4 per cent);

    6. Class sizes (79 or 3.4 per cent); and

    7. Remuneration (53 or 2.3 per cent).

    Key factors that were considered important in attracting new teachers included:

    1. Improved or higher remuneration;

    2. Promoting the image or status of teaching;

    3. Improved teacher training (including access and in-service training quality issues); and

    4. Improved teaching conditions other than pay.

    Higher remuneration emerged as the leading factor suggested by survey respondents for

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    attracting new teachers. Of the survey participants aged over 55, 35.8 per cent suggested improving remuneration as the main recruitment incentive. Over 30 per cent in the 35 - 44 and 45 - 54 cohorts also suggested higher pay as an incentive. Just over 25 per cent of those aged 21 -24 and 26.7 per cent of respondents aged 25 - 34 had made t