10 October 2016
Commenting on the Education Policy Institute's publication Teacher workload and professional development in England's secondary schools: insights from TALIS, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
"Teaching has always been a long hours profession, but hours spent preparing exciting lessons are very different to hours spent providing evidence for bureaucrats. The fact that teachers are working 60 hours a week is totally unacceptable and is exacerbating the teacher shortage.
"The report confirms what the NUT has been saying – that excessive accountability measures, which have little to do with improving education, are the driving force behind this long-hours culture. On top of low starting pay and little or no time for professional development, it is hardly surprising that teachers are voting with their feet and leaving the profession in such large numbers.
"Accountability and testing measures are harming children's learning and, in some cases, their well-being. Overzealous marking arrangements have reached ludicrous time-consuming proportions, with teachers expected to engage in 'triple marking' involving extensive and time-consuming dialogue with pupils, a practice with no proven educational benefits.
"There is no excuse for this desperate situation. All of the issues facing teachers and education in England can be resolved by Government if they only listened to the profession. For the sake of children and young people's education it is time they not only listened to but acted upon the advice given to them."