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Survey reveals what teachers worry about most

Poll of more than 12,000 teachers in Scotland finds biggest concerns are pay, workload and pupils with additional needs

Teachers, workload, workplace, stressed teachers, Emma Kell

Poll of more than 12,000 teachers in Scotland finds biggest concerns are pay, workload and pupils with additional needs

A major survey of Scotland’s teachers has revealed deep concerns over pay, workload and support for pupils with additional support needs (ASN).

The EIS union, which canvassed more than 12,000 teachers in December and trailed some of the results earlier this month, said it was the largest survey of its type in Scotland this decade.

Key findings include:

  • 76 per cent of respondents reported feeling stressed “frequently” or “all of the time” within their jobs.
  • 88 per cent said they felt their stress levels had either stayed the same or increased over the past year.
  • 64 per cent reported working more than five hours extra above their contracted hours each week.
  • 35 per cent of those working part time reported working more than eight hours per week above their contracted hours.
  • 82 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with their workload levels.
  • 78 per cent disagreed that there was adequate provision for children with ASN in their school.
  • Pay is the issue that teachers most want to see addressed by local and national government, closely followed by workload and problems around providing the right support to ASN pupils.

One teacher surveyed said: “I love being a teacher, but you do feel like there are not enough hours in the day. Also, apart from working so many extra hours for free, I cannot think of any other profession where you would buy your own resources to ensure the best learning experiences for your pupils!”

Another wrote: “Teachers deserve to be valued. There is a lack of respect for the extremely demanding job we do.”

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Our main campaigning focus for the past year has been aimed at securing a significant pay increase for Scotland’s teachers and association professionals. However, the results of this survey indicate very clearly that, while pay remains the top priority, teachers are concerned about other issues also.”

Mr Flanagan added: “There have been numerous initiatives aimed at reducing excessive levels of workload in teaching in recent years. Clearly, our members feel that these measures have not been successful in reducing workload to an acceptable level.

“Budget-driven cuts to ASN provision and staffing during the period of austerity have placed huge additional pressures on teachers and, even more worryingly, reduced the level of support available for pupils who need it.”

The EIS survey for its Value Education, Value Teachers campaign was carried out online between 3and 17 December, with 12,250 teachers taking part. A draft report of the survey’s findings will be presented to the EIS council at its meeting today, with a final report published on the EIS website "in the near future”.

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