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Concerns raised over rise in north-east teachers leaving the profession early

By Kyle Ritchie

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A North East MSP has raised concerns that high workloads and classroom violence are causing teachers to quit the profession after new figures showed a 200 per cent rise in staff taking early retirement across parts of the region.

Statistics obtained by MSP Liam Kerr from the Scottish Government show the number of teachers accessing their pensions before normal pension age has soared across the North East in the past few years.

In 2019 across Aberdeenshire, a total of 44 members of the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme (STSS) and Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme 2015 (STPS 2015) “opted to retire” before normal pension age. By 2023, the number had doubled to 88 teachers.

There are concerns that issues are causing teachers to leave the profession.
There are concerns that issues are causing teachers to leave the profession.

In Aberdeen, 15 from both schemes decided to retire early in 2019 but by 2023 this had risen by almost 200 per cent to 44 members.

Across other parts of the North East, 30 teachers in Angus retired early in 2023 – a jump from 13 in 2019 and in Moray, 29 teachers dropped out of the profession.

Shadow Education Secretary Mr Kerr said: “These alarming figures lay bare the intolerable pressures that exhausted teachers are facing as they battle to contend with high workloads and rising levels of violence.

“They are the backbone of Scotland’s education system but far too many hard-working teachers seem to be at breaking point and many clearly feel they have been left with no option but to retire early to safeguard their own health.

“The demoralising impact of the SNP’s mismanagement of our education system means that not only is attracting new teachers difficult but retaining current staff is just as hard for North East councils.

“The SNP government must start listening to teachers, and act immediately on their concerns if it is serious about keeping them in the profession for years to come.”

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