Half of all high school teachers quit within 5 years

Schools are desperately trying to fill hundreds of teacher vacancies with just two weeks until students return.

Now it's also been revealed almost a fifth of primary school teachers and half of high school teachers quit within five years. 

Georgina Monigatti is one year into her teaching career, and is well aware of the challenges.

"Work load. There's a lot that goes into teaching and I think when you start out you're not fully prepared for what that may look like."

But she's committed and dedicated, saying she intends to last at least five years in the profession.

That's not the case for other new teachers. A new survey of almost 300 new graduates - mainly those teaching at primary school level - shows almost one in five plans to quit teaching within five years.

Of those, 43 percent say it's because they're overworked. Fifteen percent put it down to pay, and many say it's due to a lack of support.

The outlook is bleak if urgent changes aren't made, says NZEI President Lynda Stuart.

"We have children who are without teachers, we have big classes, we have huge issues with our education system," she says.

It's even worse at high school level. The Post Primary Teachers Association says 2016 figures show 50 percent of graduates quit within five years.

"That just shows we're not doing enough to support teachers," says PPTA President Jack Boyle.

Many of the teachers Newshub spoke to said the job involves too much admin.

One says he spends 20 hours on it a week, including five hours each Sunday. He quit last year, and says he would only return if there were major changes.

So what can be done?

"There's been an encroaching growth of busy work bureaucracy, administration that's not really about teaching and learning," says Mr Boyle.

Ms Stuart says teachers need support to prevent burnout.

"We need to absolutely ensure that teachers come into the profession, that they're well supported in the profession, that they have the time to teach students, that they have the time to do the paper work they need to do."

Extra cash would also help.

"We don't feel that pay reflects the amount of work that actually goes into teaching," says Ms Monigatti.

The Government says it has already taken steps to reduce teacher's workload.