Work Life Balance - no wonder people are leaving the job. Nicky Morgan needs to wake up and realise the true nature of teaching in 2016. At 10 p.m. last Monday I asked my wife to stop marking the Year 11 practice exam scripts that she started at 6-15 p.m. Here is why. She was up at 6-15 a.m. and left for work at 7-20 a.m. to prepare for the day. Being a Monday it was is her Duty Day and she has a full teaching day. This meant that she did not have a morning break and was also on duty for half of the 30 minute lunch break. Monday is also Department meeting day. Her school begins at 8-20 a.m. and finishes at 2-30 p.m. for pupils and she is form tutor as well as a Maths teacher. The department meeting finished at 4-30 p.m. and my wife arrived home at 5-15 p.m. Fortunately I had managed to sort dinner out so she sat down to eat, only to start marking again at 6-15 p.m. This work load is not out of the ordinary, as the press and the Department for Education lead the public to believe. I see this from my wife at least 3 times a week generally having to do marking up to about 9 each evening. Perhaps she needs to stop being so conscientious especially as she has decided to get out of teaching and has resigned her post as of the end of this academic year. After 33 years teaching Maths she has finally had enough and by taking an early retirement will lose out on her pension, but we need a life. The school and education will lose the services of a highly professional, hard working and dedicated teacher in July. She is a qualified D of E assessor who helps the children gain this prestigious award (was out on Saturday from 9 a.m. till 1-30 p.m.) and as a designated and trained mini bus driver she helps with school sporting fixtures. As a willing supporter of residential experiences for her pupils she has always been willing to give her time to help with these. Her job had to be nationally advertised twice as the first first 3 applicants all pulled out at the last minute. At the second time of asking only 2 applied to this small rural school. The workload of teachers is a major issue as so many new "hoops" are placed in the way for us to have to jump through. Teachers are too fatigued, through workload and the bombardment of political intervention to be able to have a life. As a semi retired teacher I only teach 2 afternoons a week in a tiny rural primary school where I also volunteer to be a governor. I am astounded at the dedication and work load of the teachers who are generally in school by 7-30 a.m. and invariably leave after 5-30 p.m. with arms full of marking and preparation. The head has a teaching commitment and has to juggle the nonsensical paperwork of initiative overload from the government. She begins her day by clearing emails, many of which are new impositions on her or request to do more. Now she is having to get involved in the paper work to join a Multi Academy Trust. This was forced upon schools in the area by the Regional Director for Education prior to the Chancellors budget announcement. Fear not - we will all become academies and everything will be fine! (Sorry not sure if the exclamation mark is allowed here.) Teaching Assistants will be pushed out of roles, Headteachers in small schools will lose the status they have worked hard to gain throughout their personal career, schools will be allowed to employ unqualified people to act as teachers, each of the schools budgets will have to provide funding for a designated CEO and all the time our government will bring teachers down with demoralising statements and unrealistic targets and curriculum content. When the academies fail we will all be blamed and told that as a business it is up to you to sort out (clearly privitisation through dogma). Our co-operative trust of 8 primaries and 1 secondary school is not allowed to continue as we are, we are forced into a MAT solely for political reasons. My final note is in regard to this governments insistence that teachers need to be doing more extracurricular activities. That really does show how out of touch they are. Schools in our area have a tradition of rich and varied extra curricular enrichment programmes in sport, music, drama, outdoor and adventurous activities and residential experiences in the UK and abroad. This is the norm around most of this country, but Nicky Morgan and her crones choose to ignore the facts. Academy schools are not required to even teach P.E. It really is time the public got the whole picture of what is happening and understood exactly why long serving experienced teachers are leaving the job (used to be a vocation by the way) and why there is a shortage. Certain Education officials state that there is no crisis yet they are spending massive amounts of tax payers money on a national T.V. advert and giving up to £30000 inducements to Mathematics and science graduates. There is even a shortage of P.E. wallers now.