British Teachers: From Jolly Good Fellows to “See Ya Later”?

思然 oce
3 min readFeb 11, 2024
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Imagine yourself leaving the bustling streets of Hong Kong for the quaint charm of a British village, ready to embark on the noble quest of educating young minds. But after just six months of navigating the treacherous waters of the UK education system, you find yourself clutching a life raft, contemplating a career change. This is the story of one of my Hong Kong friends, who has been teaching for 20 years, and it’s far from unique.

Don’t just think it’s teachers from Hong Kong contemplating a career change. British teachers are deserting the profession faster than a rogue umbrella on a windy day. Nearly 40,000 of them have vanished like Cheshire Cats, leaving classrooms echoing with the ghosts of unfilled positions and students wondering if their next lesson will involve a trip to the library.

Why this mass exodus? Well, buckle up, because it’s a bumpy ride.

The Perfect Storm: Workload, Wages, and Woeful Working Conditions

Imagine juggling flaming bowling pins while reciting Shakespearean sonnets underwater — that’s a British teacher’s daily routine. They’re drowning in paperwork, battling standardized tests, and often expected to be magicians, producing top-notch students with limited resources. Oh, and let’s not forget the “special” effects: leaky roofs, outdated textbooks, and the occasional rogue student with a penchant for projectile projectiles (think erasers, paper aeroplanes, or paper balls).

And then there’s the pay. Let’s just say, that if teachers were pirates, their treasure chests would be filled with…well, more paperwork. Compared to the demands, the salary makes a penny-pinching pensioner look like Scrooge McDuck.

The Consequences: A Ship Sinking Fast

With teachers abandoning ships like rats fleeing a sinking galleon, the education system is facing a tsunami of trouble. Learning standards are plummeting faster, and educational inequalities are widening.

Charting a New Course: A Brighter Future for British Education

There’s still hope. To ensure our educational ship doesn’t become a Davy Jones Locker of forgotten knowledge, we need to:

  • Lighten the Load: Give teachers a break from…



思然 oce

PhD | Research Psychologist | Psychometrician | Computer Science Teacher | IT Auditor/Consultant | ex-CISA/CISSP | Top Writer in Humor | Work in HK, UK, USA