New jobs board website offers teachers way out of profession

A jobs website set up to help disaffected teachers find work in other industries has been labelled “an indictment of how bad things have become”.

Did Teach is a jobs board website that wants to become a “huge portal” for finding jobs that suit the skillset of teachers seeking alternative work.

Modelled on similar services for individuals leaving roles in the military, the police and the NHS, the site has been used by teachers leaving the profession for reasons including workload pressures, a need for flexible or part-time work, and redundancy.

The website was founded by Katie Stickley, a teacher herself, and has signed up around 500 teachers who are sent a mailing list with vacancies outside of the classroom.

As a sector, we need to work harder to keep and develop our talent – not let it walk out the door

On average, teachers using the site have around eight to 15 years of teaching experience.

David Cobb, chief executive of education-services organisation Oceanova, said the site was “an indictment of how bad things have become”, and said schools need to focus on improving flexible working and professional-development opportunities to retain staff.

“As a sector, we need to work harder to keep and develop our talent – not let it walk out the door.”

A report out this week from the National Foundation for Educational Research found that between 2010 and 2015, the rate of teachers leaving the profession increased from nine per cent to ten per cent in primary schools, and 11 per cent to 12 per cent in secondaries.

Stickley said individuals who have “pledged their time, energy and commitment” to teaching should be supported, not criticised, if they decide to seek “new horizons beyond the confines of the classroom”.

David Cobb is critical of the site

“New challenges” may help some people feel “refreshed” enough to return to teaching in the future, she added, while more graduates may be attracted to the teaching if they feel they are developing transferable skills.

Stickley said she founded the website, which she now runs while teaching part-time, after witnessing colleagues being made redundant.

The website charges companies £50 to advertise jobs for a month.

Stephen Tierney, chair of Headteachers’ Roundtable, said it was time for leaders and government to value teachers’ skills and “really get hold of what is driving people out of the profession”.

The government has previously pledged to launch a new recruitment-and-retention strategy to ensure teachers remain in the classroom.