‘A lot of people don’t realise how difficult it was, how much pressure you are under’: Trainee teachers struggling to complete studies

Chris Penson is a newly qualified science teacher at The Mandeville School in Aylesbury
Chris Penson is a newly qualified science teacher at The Mandeville School in Aylesbury
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Teachers are struggling to find jobs and complete their studies with a third of trainees failing to find work in the profession.

Newly qualified Mandeville School science teacher Chris Penson, 23, said he was unsurprised to discover of 38,000 trainees in 2010/11 only 70% had teaching jobs by January.

He said: “While I was doing my teaching training it was quite a high drop out rate. A lot of people don’t realise how difficult it was, how much pressure you are under.”

Mr Penson, who studied at Oxford Brookes, said mentoring for trainees could be improved but that he was pleased he stayed the course.

“I’m really enjoying it. A group of my Year 11s just did their mocks and some of them for the first time got a C grade.

“Just to see their faces, they were over the moon.”

A former trainee, who wanted to remain anonymous, shared Mr Penson’s view on mentoring.

He said: “It’s too much work and too little money. If you get a good teacher it’s wicked but if you don’t it’s awful.”

The 24 year old, who now works in a call centre, said he was eventually relieved to drop out after six months.

“There’s a lot of people who do go for it, who got better mentoring than I did. But even if you do pass your course there’s not many jobs out there.”