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Is workload the key to fixing the teacher recruitment crisis?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, May 30, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    A union leader believes that the government must do more to address the workload issue and make it a priority if there is any chance of attracting more people to the profession:

    ‘Those considering teaching need hope: hope that whilst things are tough now, next year will be better and the following year better still.

    And they need belief: belief that whilst they have it on good authority that things are tough now, enough is being done to put these things right.

    The government’s campaign will have the best chance of success if it attempts to paint a more positive picture of the future rather than a rose-tinted version of the present. And this needs continued leadership from the very top.

    Our political leaders can instil hope by their words and belief by their deeds. We need them to be single-minded in their determination to address unnecessary workload: it shouldn’t be the narrative of a single speech, but the narrative of all speeches. It shouldn’t be the focus of one initiative but the motivation behind them all. And through actions and words, the message may just start penetrating public and professional consciousness.’

    Nick Brook is the NAHT deputy general secretary, and chair of NAHT's accountability commission

    What are your views? What should the government do to address the issue of unnecessary and heavy workloads? Are there other contributing factors that are putting people off joining the profession?

  2. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Nick Brook declares Pope is Catholic.
    BetterNow, bevdex and woollani like this.
  3. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    I though he was Argentinian
    MagnesiumDeficiency likes this.
  4. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    Is workload the key to fixing the teacher recruitment crisis?

    But it does go a way to help.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  5. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Have the unions picked up on this? If I can find it, why can't they? (assuming I haven't missed it somewhere)

    Interesting last sentence.

    NFER/ Nuffield Foundation March 2018
    Teacher Retention and Turnover Research Research Update 4: How Do Teachers Compare To Nurses And Police Officers?

    "Teachers work similar hours to police officers each year, but in fewer weeks We compare the average number of hours worked by full-time staff in each profession and monitor how this has changed over time. Our analysis shows that in 2015/16, the most recent year of USoc, teachers work the longest hours at 50 hours per week during term time, followed by police officers (44) and nurses (39).
    Working long hours over prolonged periods, as teachers are doing, can create pressure and stress, with potential negative effects on health and well-being.

    Looking at the total hours worked by each profession annually, making assumptions about the hours teachers may be working during school holidays, we find that teachers and police officers work a comparable number of hours annually. Teacher working hours have been increasing since 2009/10, while police officer working hours have decreased slightly over the same period, though neither difference is statistically significant.

    We also show that the long hours that teachers work during term time substantially exceeds the amount of extra holiday time they may receive."
    woollani likes this.
  6. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    To answer the OP question, in light of the evidence above: yes. Obviously. Who could argue against it.
    The retention argument will be raised as well. Same answer?
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    It's a big part and the most quoted reason for people leaving.

    I also suspect the accountability culture which manifests itself in increased workload is also a great part of it and I also believe that many teachers are not happy with the basic way that many schools are now run. We no longer feel like people doing our bit for the community and are treated more like workers in a corporation enriching a few people at the top.

    The whole public service ethos has fallen under the free market and profit-making train. I'm not naturally a pessimistic person but I really do worry now about how on earth things in education are going to get any better.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    What on earth does statistically significant mean in this context?
  9. NotAPowerRanger

    NotAPowerRanger New commenter

    50 hours a week? I wish! There can't be any NQT in the country doing anywhere near that. Most NQT's I know do 75+
    install likes this.
  10. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    One of the best comments made around here recently
  11. PloddingOn

    PloddingOn New commenter

    As a potential teacher I'd say definitely - I'd really like to enter the profession but I'm under no illusion that full time teaching is a sustainable long term plan. I'm currently working to try and earn enough for a sizeable house deposit somewhere fairly cheap then when I've done that I'll look at getting qualified and doing NQT at full time after which hopefully I'd be able to afford the mortgage on a small 2 bed working 4 days a week.
  12. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    A notion that having high expectations is the same as every child being at ARE (primary ) , or passing every GCSE they sit . Failure of them doing this , is the teacher's fault !
    Jamvic and ridleyrumpus like this.
  13. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    If, and when, teaching becomes regarded once more by those doing it, as a worthwhile, rewarding and enjoyable profession, recruitment should not be a problem.

    But nobody in their right mind would want to enter a profession where (to an outsider at least), a large proportion of its' members are forming an orderly queue at the gates trying to get out.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Its too little - too late for some. Workload, training, perception and pay conditions are a huge problem.

    Teachers it seems have become the 'working poor' of the public sector. Some experience - poor working conditions, no pay mobility in places, no Overtime pay, an absence of key leaders in some classrooms and schools, increasing poor behaviour, an expectation to not exclude if really possible, higher knife crime in some communities, and an exodus of experience in some schools - to name a few problems.

    Teaching is a job to some - no longer a longterm career. It is not seemingly regarded highly by some Leaders or parts of society either. And why would someone now pay more than 35,000 pounds only to earn less for much of the time - and have fewer working rights than.some others?
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    MarieAnn18, Jamvic, elder_cat and 3 others like this.
  15. -Maximilian-

    -Maximilian- New commenter

    Workload is part of it. Pay is another - working more each year for less pay in real terms is really hurting. Plus, accountability needs to shift away from the teacher and onto the student. I can’t ‘intervene’ if a student does not attend revision/intervention sessions or do any work outside of class, such as their own revision/preparation for an exam.
    MarieAnn18, Jamvic, elder_cat and 4 others like this.
  16. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I didn't think there was a recruitment 'crisis' in education re: teachers. I thought that if the massive retention issues were fixed, and all the qualified teachers who no longer taught returned to the classroom there would be plenty of teachers available to fill schools.

    Or am I wrong?
    ridleyrumpus and install like this.
  17. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  18. install

    install Star commenter

    I agree. They like to quote teacher application rates as being low - which us true - but do not look enough at retention rates and reasons why teachers want to leave. Some are fooled by the words 'recruitment crisis' when the phrase needs to be 'teacher crisis' for all current teachers.
    elder_cat and Catgirl1964 like this.
  19. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Occasional commenter

    The workload is a huge problem in recruitment and retention in my opinion, but it would be less of a problem if the salary fair reflected the amount of work teachers do each week.

    A first step should be to make sure that MPS1 is the same as the UK National average - IIRC around £25-26k and it should increase from there. At present MPS1 is around £22.5k I think which based on a full year of 37.5 hours a week is £11.50ish an hour - when you add all the extra unpaid hours teachers are expected to do then it's probably much closer to a min wage job.

    Why go through all the stress and hassle when you could be earning more in a cal centre or working night shifts at Tesco?
  20. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, you're wrong. There is a recruitment crisis too.

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