More than half of teachers 'considering quitting' amid heavy workloads and low morale

The teachers union says the key issues that drive teachers away are workload, pay and low morale Credit: Reuters

More than half of teachers are considering quitting the profession in the next two years, a teaching union has warned.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said the two main reasons given for wanting to leave were because of the heavy workload and a desire for a better work/life balance.

A survey conducted by YouGov showed that two-fifths of the teachers polled said they suffered low morale, while 53 percent were considering leaving in the next two years.

A majority - 73 percent - also said they believed the current policies for the school curriculum and pupil assessment are "narrow and uncreative".

The union said it is clear that workload continues to be a huge problem, with teachers working anything up to 60 hours a week.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower urged the government to take action on the key issues that drive teachers away - workload, pay and low morale.

The survey, which polled about 1,000 teachers, found morale has declined in the past five years for two thirds, or 67% of teachers, while just one in 10 feels it has improved.

Government figures suggest the picture of teaching in the UK is far less bleak Credit: Reuters

Ms Blower said cuts to teacher pay had contributed to lower morale.

"The Department for Education remains willfully and recklessly unable to see that they are the cause of teacher misery across England," she said.

But figures from the government suggest the picture is far less bleak.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said government figures showed that the number of teachers returning to the classroom had risen in recent years.

"Teaching remains a hugely popular profession, with the highest numbers of people joining since 2008," he said.

"The latest figures show the number of former teachers coming back to the classroom has continued to rise year after year - from 14,720 in 2011 to 17,350 in 2014."