More than 30,000 UK teachers have quit education in the past five years, and swathes more are predicted to follow them – but many underestimate how desirable their skillset will be to future employers.
A 2019 investigation by the National Education Union showed 32,375 teachers have left the schools system since 2015, with the majority blaming budget cuts, increased workload and mounting pressure.
Responses from 86,000 school staff also revealed more than a quarter (26%) intend to leave the sector in the coming five years too.
But what career options are available to someone who might have spent years standing in front of a classroom of students?
Leaving an employment sector can be daunting, and many people can find their confidence takes a knock when weighing up a career change.
However, former education professionals boast a wide range of transferable skills which would be attractive to employers – and many boast a whole host of the attributes required to run a profitable and successful business of their own.
That is something many of these ex-teachers are quickly wising up to.
Going it alone
Edouard Wood’s experience in teaching has benefitted his future entrepreneurial endeavours in more ways than one.
Having launched a franchise with children’s multi award-winning music education company, The Strings Club, he is able to draw from his 20 years’ experience as a violin teacher.
He said: “I’d worked in a freelance capacity for a number of years before starting my own franchise last summer, so although I had a good idea of what it takes to work for yourself, the franchise model really suits my lifestyle.
“My business is growing steadily and I’m confident that the earning potential will far outweigh what I’d earned when I was teaching on my own.”
Tutor Doctor franchisee, Roger Kennedy, worked as an English teacher for eight years at schools across London before starting his own business in 2017.
He said: “I became disillusioned with certain elements of the role and the constantly changing policies. It almost became that the evidence of achievements were favoured in place of genuine knowledge and interaction of your students.
“Teachers want to make a difference and see students’ progress but it’s being taken away from them.”
And Aniruddh Gupta, CEO of UK-based nursery franchise, Kido School, has sourced a whole host of talent from former teachers who have approached him over franchise opportunities.
He said: “Running a nursery can be incredibly complex. Having knowledge of those complexities and challenges as a former teacher means you can navigate them much more easily.
“Teachers at Kido also appreciate the vastly different working environment and culture where they can still pursue their passion for early years education.”
A clean break
However, not all former teaching professionals are opting to continue in the education field when investing in their own business.
Nicola Whybrow, a former schoolteacher from Oxfordshire, now operates a House of Colour franchise – yet still puts much of her success down to the skills picked up during her 12 years as a teacher.
She said: “There are so many transferrable skills linked with teaching that are relevant to business management – communication, time-keeping, patience and resilience.
“Despite leaving the education industry to start my own colour and image consultancy franchise in 2017, I find myself referring back to my teacher training regularly.
“But when I was working as a teacher, my time was so stretched that I hardly had the time to realise I was using this skillset.
“Now, I have the time to advance my professional skills and build a credible and stable future for myself. It’s poles apart from my teaching career.
“I can work eight days in a month and bring home more money that I did working five-day weeks as a teacher.
“I finally have the time for my family, the money for nice, long holidays and a quality of life I could have never imagined I would have.”
Former teachers – whether they are keen to stay in the education field or explore something new – are encouraged to explore the wealth of options in business ownership available to them at an upcoming event.
The International Franchise Show will take place at ExCeL in London on April 3-4.