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Half of all teachers in England threaten to quit as morale crashes

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Morninglover, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I would blow the whistle to Ofsted in that case, informing them that there are serious weaknesses in the head teacher's ability to manage the school effectively. If the school was being managed effectively there would be no need to blackmail staff and request their regular attendance at school on a non-working day. Ofsted can carry out a no-notice inspection if they feel the need.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    @Eureka!, whence your knowledge of teaching?
  3. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    You're only asking to check I'm not ignoring you, I'll be bound!

    Does one have to be a locomotive driver to plan the railways?
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    @Eureka!, you have my blessing to sign up to the Protocol of the Ignorant:

    1. Announce loudly that you are going to Ignore a person.
    2. Do not Ignore that person.
    3. Announce loudly that you are now Ignorant.
    4. Discuss loudly with your chums how nice it is to be Ignorant.
    5. Read the posts of the person you claim to Ignore.
    6. Respond by returning to 3.

    I do not care, far more people read these boards than post upon them - but as you have acknowledged my question then please do us both the favour of answering it. You might benefit.
    Scintillant likes this.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    While taking your point you also wouldn't entrust the railways to the bloke in the pub who reckons something.

    I have opinions on the law, health and many other things. It'd be a complete idiot that would actually entrust the running of the law courts, a hospital or anything else to me.
    snowyhead likes this.
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    When are the lessons planned? This is the biggest factor contributing to Mrs P's crushing workload. 5 way differentiation for a class that spans all of (the old) levels 1-5 with massive behaviour problems from some kids.
    Big assumption that TAs are employed at 8am. Most schools I know, copying by others takes a couple of days.
    cissy3 likes this.
  7. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    why should teachers work less hard than anyone else. We dont have a monopoly on hard work, although perhaps snowy you do. Why dont you write shorter posts and save time for your heavy workload.
    But really teachers are not complaining about working hard. They are complaining about the irrelevance of much of the work we do.
  8. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Surely you must think about how much you are paid and how many holidays you have? Most professionals have a day - most days - when they can think of almost anything they'd rather be doing for their bull$h1t employers, but they have to stick it with six weeks off a year.
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    As for the work load, I found that for every hour in the classroom I had an hour prep, marking, admin, CPD, etc. When I decided to take early retirement four years ago, I was timetabled for 28 hours a week which effectively was 56 hours a week.

    However my decision to get out was due to more things than mere work load. In my career, besides having to figure how to use existing school resources to teach my classes, I also set up four exam courses from scratch on my own, only to find that all of them were dropped a few years later due to continual changes in curriculum requirements. Very frustrating and quite demoralising. Also I have been HOD only to find that my department disappeared, again due to changing curricula requirements. This happened in the 90's and the mid 00s.

    When I retired, I was working in FE notionally in charge of a workforce of 10 people, with my 56 hours/week on a salary of £32.5K /annum. It was just not worth the candle!! I was lucky in that I had enough pension. In addition, I was increasingly getting **** off with the incompetence of some of the admin staff who seemed to think they were in charge of the college. There is a lesson there for Free schools. FE colleges were released from LEAs some years ago and many have suffered from it in exactly the same way that we are starting to see Free schools fail.

    When working in secondary, one of the things that continually got me down were the constant attacks on teachers in the media by a long line of Education ministers, Gove being absolutely supreme in slagging off the education workforce in his disgraceful mealy-mouthed business of destroying the LEAs. in pursuit of his ambitions in the Nasty party.

    Then there is our so-called quality control in the form of OFSTED. OFSTED contribute absolutely nothing to our teaching ability. Their job is to watch our classes and simply note anything that goes wrong. They will then publish their observations for the edification of the local populace. The first the teacher will know about it is in a staff meeting the next week just before the local papers come out with it. Talk about stress!!

    Why really would anybody want to continue in a job like this. And I think I had an easy time of it compared to some.
    cissy3 and hermitcrabbe like this.
  10. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    Well, certainly not the pay. I am part time because of family and care commitments. The pay is pretty average. The only thing that keeps me in this job is the holidays. Take those away and it would lose all attraction.
    cissy3 likes this.
  11. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    What and never work again - anywhere? Thats what happens to whistle blowers. No thanks. I have a living to make. Great in theory but not for those at the chalk face.
    cissy3 likes this.
  12. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    What would make the job worth it? Let's look at it from market economics - there are some jobs with crushing workloads such as being a city trader or lawyer which use pay to retain staff.

    Is the answer more pay? If they paid more money, reinstated automatic progression etc, would staff think twice about leaving?
    Some jobs offer earlier retirement. Would retirement at 60 make people more inclined to stay?
    Some jobs appeal to the ethos of staff. Would a switch from 'market' style measurement of teaching through grades (profits) to one which looked at the holistic growth of children through unmeasurable outcomes (the abolition of Ofsted and league tables) stop teachers leaving?
    Is the answer more consistent training? Teach First for all its merits takes places from those who would stay in the profession and gives them to those who will not. SCITT and School Direct with QTS only courses and training delivered by people with limited knowledge of teaching context other than their school or chain do not prepare teachers for teaching in any school, only their own. If you would say, what has happened in the last five years? The answer is a major switch from PGCE to SCITT and SD. Is there something about the PGCE that makes them more likely to stay in the profession?

    We cannot have this argument without unpicking the answer. Personally, I think it is a mix of all. Less so on the pay unbelievably. They are now up to 30k bursary for some trainees and you will still not see them coming and those that do will leave quickly. The abolition of Ofsted would immediately take the monkey off the back, but howls from people about shoddy schools would continue. To be honest, Ofsted doesn't prevent shoddy schools from existing - it's the nature of the game. We are spending billions of hours and money to try and prevent, unsuccessfully, the existence of a small percentage of shoddy schools by bullying the vast majority of decent teachers and schools with micro management. I worry about the training of the trainees. If they come into teaching because they care about young people and are instead ruthlessly trained to chase grades then don't be surprised if they leave for the private sector which rewards them for that skill set or the leave because the job isn't what they wanted.

    There is no right answer, but I think it is good to speculate. What are your thoughts?
    cissy3 and phlogiston like this.
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Some good ideas here -FWIW here, from retirement - are a few of my suggestions:

    1. Abolish OfSTED
    2. Enshrine conditions of service in law (schools with high staff turnover should automatically be regarded as failing)
    3. Tempt good graduates by paying off their student loans - 20% for each year of completed service in state education
    4. Stop the continual change in education - that causes much stress and does little to help pupils
    5. Give more autonomy to teachers - otherwise few good graduates will be tempted (unless you pay them shedloads!)
    There's more...but this will do for a start!
  14. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    If expectations for planning are manageable and SLT don't expect a four page lesson plan that plots what everyone in the classroom will be doing at any given moment THEN much of planning should fit into PPA time. At the beginning of my example of a primary school day I did add the proviso that it was my idea of a manageable day because it excluded all the unnecessary interruptions and paperwork generated by the SLT.
  15. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Gove had already thought of those FF, that's why he pushed ahead with the free school and academy programme. Now, Gibb and Morgan bang on about how non-maintained schools have been freed from the shackles of prescriptive curricula, the straight-jacket of automatic pay increments and can attract the brightest and the best cannon fodder with big wodges of wonga (as long as it doesn't affect the pay of the CEO).
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Nor that of his honeys.
    snowyhead likes this.
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Agree. Any graduate with a good physics or maths degree isn't going to hang around for very long if they are continually brow beaten by a SLT that are only focused on saving their own skins. Education isn't the only sector that is trying to lure good STEM graduates with money and career prospects.
    cissy3 likes this.
  18. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Apologies for my long posts, you are of course at liberty not to read them and not to comment on them. However, you'll see in my long post that the main point I was making (last paragraph) concurred with your opinion.
    stmha likes this.
  19. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    In addition, we should really identify a 'tipping point'.

    At what point would we see major change in the form of removing the need for any formal qualification for teaching, removing the need for a degree to teach or train to teach (I still meet teachers with 5 O levels), the reinstatement of the retirement age to 60, substantial increases in pay for shortage subjects coupled with substantial reductions in pay for non-shortage subjects and so forth.

    What would have to happen? There must be a tipping point when even the most fascist Govian former 'think tank' overpaid and underqualified SPAD says, ok, it's not working....
  20. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I have tried to explain the problems I had in teaching, but I hope that people viewing this outside the teaching profession don't view mine and other teachers points here simply as a moan or an exercise in "my job is harder than yours".

    I think that what we are doing here is trying to respond to the very clear fact that teaching is one of the most demoralised trades - something we knew about anyway.

    In my opinion, it has to be recognised that it is Gove who needs to named, blamed and shamed for this situation, but sadly he and his ilk have the gutter media on his side and the electorate have fallen for it every time.

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