Secondary schools see record percentage of native English teachers leaving

Secondary schools saw 13% of native English speaking teachers leave in the 2020/21 school year, a record in the past five school years.

But Education Secretary Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said there was no reason to support the claim that teachers were leaving because of Hong Kong’s Covid-19 policies.

The Board of Education has, since 1998, implemented the Mother Tongue English Teacher Program in public sector primary and secondary schools to provide one mother tongue English teacher position to every school meeting the relevant criteria.

Yeung said the respective attrition rates for native English teachers in primary and secondary schools last year were 11% and 13%.

The attrition rate in secondary schools has reached its highest level in the past five years, also an increase of four percentage points from 9% in 2019/20.

Yeung said that, as the five-year statistics show, retention and attrition rates for native English teachers have been largely stable and there is no imbalance between demand and demand. offer at this point.

He said the reasons these teachers leave their service are diverse, including retirement, family reunification, and wanting to work or live in other countries: “Teachers’ decision whether or not to accept teaching positions in Hong Kong depends on their personal circumstances. considerations.”

“There is no substantial reason to attribute the departure of native English teachers or their decision whether or not to come and teach in Hong Kong to our mandatory quarantine measure,” he said.

He added that although the recruitment of native-speaking English teachers has been affected by the global pandemic over the past two years, Hong Kong still has sufficient numbers to maintain a stable team.

The office expected schools could still recruit enough teachers to meet demand in the 2022/23 school year.

He added that the board would exercise its discretion to allow native English teachers of retirement age to continue teaching and allow the employment of temporary teachers to fill vacancies.