Teachers in England have ‘unmanageable’ job – says global survey

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OECD study of 48 countries reveals England secondary school teachers have one of highest workloads in the world.

More than half of all secondary school teachers in England say their job is “unmanageable”, according to an international survey revealing that teachers in England have one of the highest workloads in the world.

The survey of teachers and school leaders in 48 countries conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) makes depressing reading for those in the profession in England, who had longer working days than anywhere else other than Japan.

John Jerrim, professor of Education and Social Statistics at UCL’s Institute of Education, said there had been a clear fall in job satisfaction since the last teaching and learning international survey, noting that more than half of secondary teachers said they may have been better to have chosen another career.

One cause appeared to be the volumes of marking required by teachers in England, where, despite years of effort by successive education secretaries, the high proportion of teachers having to mark and write feedback for pupils remains unchanged since the previous survey in 2013.

Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, endorsed the survey’s results, saying:

“These findings reflect many of the frustrations that I heard from teachers and heads when I first took on the role of education secretary and underlines the importance of the teacher recruitment and retention strategy that I launched in January this year.”

“We know that too many teachers are having to work too many hours each week on unnecessary tasks, which is why I have taken on a battle to reduce teachers’ workload so that they can focus on spending their time in the classroom, doing what they do best – teaching.”

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the survey of 4,300 teachers at 300 schools revealed a demoralised workforce.

“The findings should act as a wake-up call for any future prime minister. The government must end teachers’ unsustainable workload by tackling the high-stakes school accountability system which is fuelling the long hours culture and driving teachers out of the profession,” Bousted said.

This article was taken from The Guardian

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