Workload is creating 'high stress', say 80% of teachers

The figure is significantly worse than last year – and most teachers also say their workload is 'harming learning'

workload stress worse than ever, report reveals

Eight out of 10 teachers say workload is contributing to “high levels of stress in schools” compared with six out of 10 last year.

That’s according to a new report, which also reveals that more than 70 per cent of teachers say workload is “harming learning”.

Yet at the same time, more than a third of school staff say more is being done by schools this year to address the problems of workload, according to the Promethean State of Technology in Education 2019-20 report.


Background: Teachers quit because they find workload ‘worse than expected’

Workload: At least 70% of teachers working over contracted hours

Pay: Science and MFL NQTs to get £9K to keep teaching


The report, published this month, is based on research among more than 2,000 teachers, senior leaders and IT managers in primary and secondary schools in UK and Ireland.

It finds that 81.2 per cent of teachers believe workload is contributing to high levels of stress in schools, up 19.1 percentage points from last year. However, only 65.6 per cent of senior management team (SMT) leaders believe this to be the case.

The report states: “There's still a perception gap between SMT, IT managers and teachers. 70.7 per cent of teachers say workload is harming learning compared to 58.1 per cent of SMT members and 50.4 per cent of IT managers.”

It adds: “Workload may be worse than ever, yet 38.2 per cent of respondents also believe schools are doing more to address the problem compared to 19.5 per cent in 2018-19.”

Some 52 per of respondents said workload or long hours were the biggest threat to teacher retention.

Caroline Wright, director general of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), which helped in the report's preparation, said technology could hold the key to reducing workload but that schools needed support to embed edtech in their classrooms.

“We’ve found the schools that have been successful are those that have first created a clear strategy for the use of technology," she said.

"It’s also clear that when implemented successfully, technology has the power to improve outcomes and reduce teacher workload, which is why we continue to campaign for additional resourcing for schools.”

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