Schools should not be monitoring staff "performance" during the coronavirus outbreak, teachers' leaders have said.
A joint statement released by the NEU teaching union and and the ASCL and NAHT school leaders’ unions aimed at protecting members working through the pandemic, says: "Schools should not be formally monitoring staff ‘performance’ during this period."
The news after some schools' scrutiny measures since schools closed this week have come under question from teachers and education experts.
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Teacher Ben Newmark described how he was shocked to find some schools monitoring online learning uploaded by staff after "two days".
And Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, described "surveillance and control in a time of crisis" as "nonsense" in response to reports that some teachers were being asked to audio record lessons delivered online so that they could be inspected by senior management.
This is nonsense. Surveillance and control in a time of crisis. https://t.co/F298kgdpS2— Dr Mary Bousted (@MaryBoustedNEU) March 25, 2020
And Vic Goddard, co-principal of Passmores Academy in Harlow, Essex, said reports of staff needing to log activities completed with their employers sounded like "a gloriously untrusting waste of time".
Hearing of staff having to log the tasks they’ve completed each day, from the approved list, whilst working at home! Why? I am trying to work out if I missed a memo or something! Seems like a gloriously untrusting waste of time to me— Vic Goddard (@vicgoddard) March 25, 2020
The government behaviour tsar Tom Bennett has also urged schools asking teachers to send in a detailed summary of their work to "rethink this", adding that schools needed to be mindful of teacher stress in this "brave new world" and think about what accountability measures are for.
Hearing from even more teachers that they are expected to send a detailed summary of their day's distance teaching to senior staff, in addition to the stress of designing and delivering teaching in a format they've never been trained in, at short notice. Seriously. Rethink this.— Tom Bennett (@tombennett71) March 25, 2020
To clarify- accountability is a very good thing when done well. But in this Brave New World we need to be mindful of the stress on teachers, and what accountability is for, and what impact it has, and what it is we actually want to achieve from it. https://t.co/y3eFtcTKjo— Tom Bennett (@tombennett71) March 26, 2020