One of four teachers leaves
One out of every four Swedish teachers left their jobs for reasons other than retirement, during this last five-year period, according to a new report from Skolverket (the Swedish National Agency for Education). According to this report, every third teacher has left his or her job during the 2007-2012 period. In 12 percent of the cases, the reason is retirement and pension, but 24 percent of the teachers leave their jobs for other reasons. That means that one of four teachers leave during a five-year period. “We don’t know if they chose to leave on their own, or if they were forced to because of financial measures. It may be that they are still (working) within the school system, but in a company or in preschool,” says Christina Sundström, director of educational statistics at Skolverket. The report shows that the number of teachers who have left are a bit higher at the so-called “friskolor” (schools independent in finances and governance from national or local government) compared to those who have worked at municipal schools. Gustav Fridolin, spokesperson for Miljöpartiet (the Green Party), thinks it’s unfortunate that the teachers’ crisis has begun to look like the new normal. “What this is really about is that there are no shortcuts out of this crisis, we need better working conditions and higher salaries.” He is also of the belief that what the politicians ought to focus on right now is students getting the time they need with their teachers and that more should be done for teachers to feel happy in their job. “There’s no way around it,” Fridolin says. “We must focus more on education.”