Why are all our teachers quitting?

From 2021 to 2022, straight after the pandemic 40,000 teachers in England left the profession before retirement, the highest number in a decade. Figures from the Department of Education also show unfilled teacher vacancies were at a record high and sick days taken were up 50 percent on pre-pandemic levels.

But why?

In this three part podcast we will hear true accounts from staff on the front line spoken at the most frightening time of their careers. In order to maintain the anonymity of the people and the schools included in this research, the excerpts you hear have been re-recorded with other people’s voices, but these are their words and their stories.

Dr. Dinah Rajak

Dr. Sarah-Jane Phelan

Dr. Jenny Hewitt

Research conducted during the pandemic via audio diaries shows first hand the daily pressures put on teachers during that time. Voices from teachers who were afraid for their own lives but still went in to teach, staff who went to the houses of vulnerable students on Christmas Day, just to check they were ok and young and highly experienced teachers who left their jobs because they couldn’t see a way out.

Hosted by Judith Koch, a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of International Relations at Sussex University, she will be speaking to Dr. Dinah Rajak, Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, Dr. Sarah-Jane Phelan, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and Dr. Jenny Hewitt, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Queen Mary University of London who collaboratively designed and undertook this research.

In this episode we look at the methodology used to conduct this research, exploring how audio-diaries accessed real-time insights on teaching staff’s own terms, and practically how this research was able to be done during the lockdowns.

The next episode will look at the findings and the final episode looks at future implications and policy recommendations.

Host: Judith Koch

Interviewees: Dr. Dinah Rajak, Dr. Sarah-Jane Phelan and Dr. Jenny Hewitt

Producer: Elisa Kennedy and Judith Koch

Music: Thanks to Universfield and Ashot Danielyan for the use of their music from Pixabay

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Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers & Acquisitions
Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA)

SEA’s podcast, Mergers and Acquisitions demonstrates how anthropological and other perspectives can enhance and complicate understandings of economic life and contemporary events. Mergers and Acquisitions hosts interviews with leading economic anthropologists, provides reflection pieces on economic transformations and problems, and serves as a vehicle for new and established scholars to connect with each other. Recognizing that the best ideas and insights are rarely generated alone, Mergers and Acquisitions offers a collective mind-hive for furthering the study of economic life.