27 February 2015
Commenting on the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day survey, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
‘Yet again teachers are at the top of the list for unpaid hours worked. This situation is untenable.
‘Much of teachers’ excessive workload is as a result of Government education policies and initiatives including the totally out-of-control accountability systems. Ofsted has entirely lost the trust of the profession and there now needs to be a complete root and branch reform of accountability measures.
‘The Department for Education’s own figures reveal that the number of teachers leaving the profession is at an all-time high. One of the main reasons as shown by the NUT commissioned YouGov survey is workload. 90% of teachers considered leaving the profession within the past 2 years and 87% of teachers know one or more teachers who have already left. These are sobering statistics.
‘We already have a shortage of teachers in many subjects. Unless teachers’ working lives are improved significantly, the situation will only get worse with many experienced teachers and graduates either leaving or not even considering entering the profession.
‘Teaching is a brilliant job but we need to reclaim it. Working weekends and long into the evenings under such intense scrutiny and pressure is detrimental to the health, family and social life of teachers and is clearly bad for education.
‘The NUT’s 8 steps to reduce workload has practical, cost effective and easy to implement solutions to this problem. Whoever forms the next Government needs to take note of these points and enter into meaningful discussions with the profession.’