Most teachers ‘would not recommend the profession’

Survey finds that teacher dissatisfaction in Scotland is largely fuelled by workload

Henry Hepburn

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Nearly three fifths of Scottish teachers would not recommend teaching as a career, survey findings suggest.

The figure, which has increased from 54 per cent to 58 per cent since last year, has been largely blamed on “excessive levels of teacher workload”.

The online survey from the EIS union, based on a random weighted sample of 1,000 members, also shows that changes to the curriculum and working hours are also still major causes of job dissatisfaction.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “These survey results confirm that teachers are seeing little improvement, and that severe pressure continues to be piled onto our overworked, undervalued and underpaid teachers. This clearly highlights the need for increased investment in education and in the pay of Scotland’s teachers.”

Key results include:

*58 per cent of respondents would not recommend teaching as a profession, up from 54 per cent in 2017.

*Over 34 per cent stated that workload had increased significantly over the 2017-2018 session. In 2017, 32 per cent said workload had increased significantly in 2016-17.

*Overall, 85 per cent indicated that workload had either increased or increased significantly during the past year.

*90 per cent stated that they do not have enough time for professional learning, up from 85 per cent in 2017.

One teacher in the survey said: “The workload has reached a point that it significantly impacts on my home life. I have less time with my family and feel more stressed. I am so tired at the end of the school day and then have more work to do at home. It is depressing.”

Another said: “The amount of paperwork is unbelievable. With so many new schemes and programmes being introduced council-wide and school-specific, whether for health and wellbeing or maths or any other part of the curriculum, we are constantly changing how we teach and what we use to teach."

A Scottish government spokesman said: “We recognise the pressures teachers face which is why we have already taken steps to reduce workload, including clarifying and simplifying the curriculum framework, removing unnecessary bureaucracy and increasing the number of teachers in Scottish classrooms.

“Our education reforms will go even further to empower and support teachers and head-teachers to raise standards and close the attainment gap by, for example, providing extra help for teachers in the classroom and creating new opportunities for professional development.”

The EIS union holds its AGM in Dundee this week, starting tomorrow.

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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