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BCTF Research Report

SECTION II
2006-TD-02

Teacher turnover in BC, 2001–2011

By Colleen Hawkey, PhD
BCTF Research Department

Current demographic data show that overall, the education system in BC will be losing a significant pool of accumulated teacher expertise and knowledge over a short period of time.

Each year for the past five years, approximately 1,500 teachers have retired. This past year (2005–06) the figure was 1,805, up by about 200 over the previous year. With about 35% of the teaching workforce between the ages of 50 and 59, and an average retirement age of 59, we can expect retirements to remain close to 2005 levels for at least the next 5 years. This means we can expect approximately 10,000 retirements over the next 5 years.

However, the number of teachers retiring will not be consistent across districts. Some districts have a younger overall teaching force than others. As shown in the table, in the Greater Victoria district, for example, almost 47% of their 1,127 teachers are fifty years of age or over. By comparison, in Coquitlam 547, or 29%, of their 1,884 teachers are fifty years or older.

Smaller districts experiencing similar proportions of teacher turnover may be harder hit by the loss of teacher expertise because of their smaller overall teacher numbers. For example, 27% of teachers in Stikine are fifty or over and this represents 6 out of 22 teachers. In Vancouver Island West, 23 out of 35 teachers (65.7%) are in this age group.

In 2005 there were approximately 6,400 teachers (about 19%) with 5 or fewer years of teaching experience, and 1,135 teachers (about 3.4% of all teachers) with 1 or less years of teaching experience.

As new teachers enter the system and more experienced teachers leave, it is important to ensure that the wealth of experience and knowledge is transferred to those entering the profession.

Teacher Demographic Overview, 2005-06

Dist# District Name Teacher HC (2005-06) Teacher HC
Age 50 and Over
(2005-06)
Teacher HC
% 50 and Over
2005-06)
5 Southeast Kootenay 326 141 43.3%
6 Rocky Mountain 214 85 39.7%
8 Kootenay Lake 358 173 48.3%
10 Arrow Lakes 45 22 48.9%
19 Revelstoke 82 30 36.6%
20 Kootenay-Columbia 265 135 50.9%
22 Vernon 532 173 32.5%
23 Central Okanagan 1,198 447 37.3%
27 Cariboo-Chilcotin 384 174 45.3%
28 Quesnel 243 111 45.7%
33 Chilliwack 678 203 29.9%
34 Abbotsford 1,084 321 29.6%
35 Langley 1,101 455 41.3%
36 Surrey 3,737 1,290 34.5%
37 Delta 1,002 432 43.1%
38 Richmond 1,312 448 34.1%
39 Vancouver 3,431 1,227 35.8%
40 New Westminster 427 126 29.5%
41 Burnaby 1,518 509 33.5%
42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows 910 300 33.0%
43 Coquitlam 1,884 547 29.0%
44 North Vancouver 1,033 386 37.4%
45 West Vancouver 398 128 32.2%
46 Sunshine Coast 247 113 45.7%
47 Powell River 145 55 37.9%
48 Howe Sound 253 77 30.4%
49 Central Coast 27 8 29.6%
50 Haida Gwai'i/Queen Charlotte 57 17 29.8%
51 Boundary 107 43 40.2%
52 Prince Rupert 171 79 46.2%
53 Okanagan Similkameen 160 62 38.8%
54 Bulkley Valley 151 65 43.0%
57 Prince George 926 438 47.3%
58 Nicola Similkameen 167 70 41.9%
59 Peace River South 242 69 28.5%
60 Peace River North 344 94 27.3%
61 Greater Victoria 1,127 527 46.8%
62 Sooke 467 198 42.4%
63 Saanich 483 212 43.9%
64 Gulf Islands 104 60 57.7%
67 Okanagan Skaha 405 147 36.3%
68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith 851 374 43.9%
69 Qualicum 289 112 38.8%
70 Alberni 260 124 47.7%
71 Comox Valley 525 206 39.2%
72 Campbell River 372 180 48.4%
73 Kamloops-Thompson 855 349 40.8%
74 Gold Trail 122 48 39.3%
75 Mission 397 160 40.3%
78 Fraser-Cascade 137 67 48.9%
79 Cowichan Valley 542 208 38.4%
81 Fort Nelson 65 10 15.4%
82 Coast Mountains 356 142 39.9%
83 North Okanagan-Shuswap 443 184 41.5%
84 Vancouver Island West 35 23 65.7%
85 Vancouver Island North 103 48 46.6%
87 Stikine 22 6 27.3%
91 Nechako Lakes 291 80 27.5%
92 Nisga'a 40 15 37.5%
93 Conseil scolaire francophone 266 55 20.7%
  Total 33,716 12,588 37.3%
Source: Ministry of Education data
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