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KRISTOFFER T.

TARIMAN
TOPIC: EXCESSIVE WORKLOAD
Almost three quarters (73%) of trainee and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have considered leaving the profession,
according to a new survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

Heavy workloads are wreaking havoc among new recruits as 76% of respondents cited this as the main reason they
considered quitting.

Almost eight in 10 (79%) of the 889 students and NQTs surveyed by the union said they did not feel that they had a good
work-life balance and the amount of work they were expected to do was the most common reason for disliking their jobs.

Other factors that made those starting out in teaching think about a change of career included “teacher bashing” in the
press and a lack of respect for profession (30%). Around 26% blamed an increasing expectation to take part in out-of hours
activities for their reservations.

When asked about out-of hours work, almost half (46%) said they work between six and 10 hours at the weekend during
term time, while 28% work more than 10 hours. Just 2% did no work at all at this time.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said: “Unless the government makes changes to address teachers’ workloads, we
fear thousands of great teachers will leave.”

In response to the findings, a spokesperson for the Department for Education (DfE) said: “The secretary of state has made
clear to the teaching unions our commitment to working with them to help reduce unnecessarily high workloads, caused
by needless bureaucracy. We also announced our support for a new independent College of Teaching – a new organization
being developed by teachers for teachers to champion high standards in the profession.”

Julian Stanley, chief executive of the Teacher Support Network, was not surprised by the research results: “Teachers do
not enter the profession expecting to work 9 to 5, but the fact is workloads are spiralling out of control. This is having a
devastating impact not only on teachers’ mental and physical health but also on their ability to teach.”

Of those surveyed, 25% said challenging pupil behaviour was the reason they had considered leaving – it came fifth in a
list of 18 options. This comes almost exactly one year after Ofsted’s chief inspector, Michael Wilshaw, blamed
“misbehaviour in schools” as a key reason why two-fifths of teachers quit in the first five years – a phenomenon he labelled
a “national scandal”.

In the ATL’s most recent survey, by comparison, 25% of young recruits said they didn’t think they would still be teaching
in five years’ time, although this figure more than doubled to 53% when the time frame was extended to 10 years.

Stanley said: “Finding a balance between maintaining and driving up standards while supporting teachers is in the best
interest of children, parents, governors and school leaders. Health and wellbeing matters are not soft options but have a
direct impact on the culture of a school, recruitment and retention of staff and student outcomes.”

is it worse for teachers than other professions or industries?

Many modern careers are stressful. Teaching is unusual in being relatively safe in its working environment and job security
but still high in stress. A YouGov survey commissioned by an education charity last year found 75% of teachers in the UK
reporting symptoms of stress – including depression, anxiety and panic attack – compared with just 62% of the working
population as a whole.

Suicide risks for primary and nursery school teachers in England was 42% higher than in the general population between
2011 to 2015, according to the Office of National Statistics. Some 102 suicides were recorded as primary and nursery
schoolteachers in the period.

Teachers' workload: tips on how to manage it and get a work-life balance

It's not time in class that cause workload problems for teachers, it's the paperwork. Tom Sherrington offers advice on
dealing with it.

Marking overload

I've seen too many teachers crushed by expectations that they'll review and comment on all their students' work. Not only
can this not be done within any reasonable workload limit, it is also an ineffective use of time. To keep it in perspective
establish a pattern of regular well-spaced marking that is sharply focused. If you lose control every so often, don't ever do
retrospective marking for presentational reasons; just move on and get back into a regular rhythm. Even though it feels
great to give out a set of freshly marked books, there are times when you just can't burn any more midnight oil. So don't.
If you use a healthy diet of peer and self assessed tasks, and give lots of verbal feedback during lessons, you'll find a level
of marking that is effective and sustainable within the overall feedback mix. If you ever feel that you are only marking to
satisfy your head of department, rather than because it will actually help your students to improve within the flow of your
lessons, then stop.

Planning pressure

When teachers experience overload I often find that they are over-planning their lessons or trying to generate too many
resources themselves. It's really important to build up a bank of readily available shared resources and to develop an agile
approach to teaching that enables you to get students working and engaged without relying too heavily on you and your
materials. Teachers often act as solo-operators and spend too long reinventing the wheel with resources. Collaborate
more and keep the planning light-touch. The @TeacherToolkit Five Minute Lesson Plan is a big hit for a reason, it models
skeletal lesson planning that is time efficient and effective.

Report deadline pile-up

Reports can be another killer. Many schools have sophisticated systems that allow teachers to write reports online from
home but this is double-edged in terms of work-life balance. It's especially tough for teachers with multiple teaching
groups with reports due at the same time. The only answer is to see it coming, to plan ahead and to let people know if
you're struggling so they have time to put in a plan to help you. I'm not condoning a corner-cutting cut-and-paste approach
but you need to balance the detail of each comment with the overall time you're spending, using statement banks
intelligently.

Over-commitment

Busy people seem to attract more and more things to do. Highly-committed teachers often find it hard to say no and find
themselves involved in all kinds of working groups and extra-curricular activities; they can become over-involved in
pastoral care issues beyond the limits of their responsibility. Each of these things is valuable, highly rewarding and
motivating. However, add it all up and you can find yourself spinning too many plates and dropping a few. The trick is
know your limits; to sense when it's going to be a bridge too far and just say no. An outright no might be hard but if you
say: "to be honest, I'd love to help but I'm already struggling a little with everything else," people will understand. With
pastoral issues, always make sure you involve someone else early on so they can support you or take it on.

That 'cog in the machine' feeling

Often stressed teachers say they feel burdened by being over-directed. It depends on the school culture, but teachers do
actually have a lot of autonomy and they need to use it. Make your lessons enjoyable for yourself as well as your students;
teach the fun stuff, tell the stories you want to tell, do things the way you want to. Make teaching joyful and not a drudge.
My staff almost all have an activity that they run in or out of school out of choice; they follow their passions in some aspect
of their lives.

A family first attitude is also healthy and good schools support that. Important one-off family events, that class assembly
or graduation, are important. Don't be too afraid to ask if you can go. You might want to check what the precedent is but
always make a polite request directly to the headteacher in person and be prepared to team up with colleagues to cover
each other from time-to-time to oil the wheels. Ignore the stay late culture if there is one; it's never the sign of an effective
school. Manage your own time and be your own boss to the greatest extent possible.

Reference: http://20workload%20%20tips%20on%20how%20to%20manage%20it%20and%20get%20a%20work-
life%20balance%20_%20Teacher%20Network%20_%20The%20Guardian.htm

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