Wednesday 25 June 2014

OECD survey confirms teacher demoralisation and overwork

A press release from the National Union of Teachers commenting on the OECD's Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) reports the following findings on the views of Headteachers and Key Stage 3 teachers in England:

“Only one in three teachers feels their profession is valued by society – a statistic that should shock the Government. Conversely, 87 per cent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that parents were supportive.

“Hours worked by full time teachers on all tasks is on average 52 hours a week. This is in line with the Government’s own Teachers’ Workload Diary Survey. Half of teachers reported working more than 50 hours a week and one in ten said they worked more than 65 hours. Among part time teachers, a quarter work more than 38 hours. In all cases these are high by international standards, especially compared with Finland – a high performing country where teachers’ average hours are 32 per week. Teachers in England also reported spending more hours on non-face-to-face teaching tasks such as planning, marking and general administrative work.

“Around half of teachers believed appraisal and feedback added no value to their teaching pedagogy or self-efficacy and merely served to satisfy administrative requirements.

“Amongst head teachers in England, the survey makes it very clear that they feel the main barriers to their effectiveness are Government regulation and policy (79%), inadequate budgets and resources (78%) and high workload and level of responsibilities (68%).

“This survey backs up what we already know about the existing problems and concerns facing the profession. The message to Government from this survey is clear: teachers’ workloads are unmanageable and unsustainable and teachers feel undervalued for the challenging job they do.

“This is an issue that concerns everyone. Our children deserve enthusiastic, energetic teachers, not overworked and stressed ones. It is high time the Government addressed these pressing matters. Failure to do so will lead, without a doubt, to further teacher shortages, which is clearly bad for education”.

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