Statistics about how teachers are doing in our schools.  

– Between 2001 and 2011, the number of of teaching staff across government and non-government sectors rose from 249,629 to 290,854, an increase of 41,225 (17%). (ABS, 2012)

– In 1981 there were more male teachers (55%) than female: 30 years later, just 42% of secondary teachers are men. (ACER, 2012)

– A major national survey of more than 2,000 teachers has found 73 per cent believe their workload has noticeably increased in the past year. (AEU, 2015)

– Up to 50 per cent of new teachers have left the profession before the fifth year. (The Educator, 2015)

– The number of teachers aged over 50 had increased while the number under 30 had decreased. The average age of Australian teachers is 43.4 years, compared with the OECD average of 42.9 years.  For principals the average is 53.2 years compared to 51.5. (ACER, 2014)

– Currently, about 20% of mathematics and physics teachers and 30% of computing/IT teachers are teaching out-of-field. (ACER, 2015)

– The average age of teachers has increased over time. The median age of teachers rose from 34 years in 1986 to 43 years in 2001 (ABS, 2003), and to 45 years in 2003 (MCEETYA, 2003). This increase is possibly associated with the ageing of the existing teacher population coupled with higher attrition rates of younger beginning teachers. (ACER, 2008)

– A study by the Australian Education Union (AEU) surveyed 1200 beginning teachers and found that 45% did not intend to be teaching in 10 years time (AEU, 2006).

– Demand for teachers is on the rise. The population of primary students is set to increase dramatically over the next ten years. Secondary schools will start to see the increase flow through from 2018. (ACER, 2015)

– 63% of teachers report that appraisals of their work are done purely to meet administrative requirements. 61% report that appraisal of their work has little impact on the way they teach in the classroom. (Grattan, 2011)

– Research comparing the impact of school and government programs and policies shows that better appraisal and feedback for teachers is the most effective program available to governments. It can improve their effectiveness by 20 to 30%. Apart from its impact on students’ lives, it would increase Australia’s long-run GDP growth by about 0.4% a year, adding $240 billion to GDP by 2050. (Grattan, 2011)

– Lower secondary teachers spend, on average, 18.6 hours per week teaching and 7.1 hours per week preparing. (OECD, 2014)

– In an empirical study, more than 40% of teachers with no induction/mentorship program chose to move or leave the school they were working at, compared with only 27% of those who participated in a collaborative induction program. (Rinke, 2008)

– The Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) has identified significant recruitment difficulties in the secondary key learning areas of Science, Mathematics and Technology. (ACER, 2008)

– Among final year primary teacher education students there were few with specialisations in mathematics, science and technology. 7% indicated either a first or second specialisation in mathematics, 6% indicated a first or second specialisation in science and 9% indicated a first or specialisation in technology. (ACER, 2008)

– 28% of teachers were asked to teach outside their area of qualification with this being most frequently for .. teachers qualified in science teaching mathematics (but not the other way around). (ACER, 2008)

– 38.6% of Australian school principals are women. This is lower than the OECD average of 44.6%. (OECD, 2013)

– Australia as a nation is failing to retain the best people in the teaching profession. Attrition rates are worryingly high with researchers estimating around 30% to 50% of teachers leaving in the first five years. (Ewing & Manuel, 2005)

– The latest data collected from all states and territories suggests an average of 5.7% (21,404) of teachers left the profession in 2014. It shows attrition rates vary across the country, and are higher in the Northern Territory at 15.94%. (Australian Government, 2014)

– The Commonwealth contributes around AU$40,000 to train one future teacher in a four year undergraduate degree. Teacher attrition costs the country a lot of money.

– The population of school students is set to increase by 26% by 2022 – a growth rate of 32% in primary schools and 18% in secondary schools. More teachers will be needed to teach these students, or class sizes will need to get much larger again. (Australian Govt, Productivity Commission, 2012)

– On average, teachers spend more than 47.5 hours per week on school-related activities. (SiAS, 2013)

– Entry to teaching is not competitive. Despite the intentions to recruit our teachers from the top 30% of school leavers, less than half of the offers to study education are given to students with an ATAR above 70. (ACER, 2015)

– The following diagrams from Met Life (2012) demonstrate how dissatisfied stressed teachers are feeling. The problem is only getting worse with time.
Met Life (2012)a
Met Life (2012)

– In Singapore and Hong Kong, teachers are drawn from the top 30% of school leavers. In South Korea and Finland, they’re drawn from the top 10%. In Australia currently, most school leavers offered teaching education courses have an ATAR below 70. The number of offers being made to students with an ATAR higher than 70 has reduced from 49% in 2013 to 42% in 2015. (ACER, 2016)

– The average number of sick days taken by teachers in NSW increased between 2009 and 2014 from 7.74 and 8.31. (NSW Education Datahub, 2015)

– Principals (and teachers!) are working too many hours. 55% of principals work 51-56 hours per week, and 27% work upwards of 61-65 hours per week. (The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey, 2016)

– Working more than 10 hours a day leads to a 60% increase in cardiovascular disease. (The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey, 2016)

– Working more than 40 hours per week is associated with increased tobacco and alcohol consumption, unhealthy weight gain in men, and depression in women. (The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey, 2016)

– 10% of principals have thoughts of self harm or global quality of life scores lower than 2. (The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey, 2016)

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