Yesterday, I launched a survey on teachers’ thoughts on the profession. It has thrown up some surprising, and some unsurprising results.
Of those who’ve responded so far, forty percent feel they will leave the profession in the next five years. That’s a huge issue for our young people when recruitment is already low. It’s also a finding echoed by larger more robust surveys (I wasn’t hoping to compete with the likes of Gallup here).
Respondents have also referred repeatedly to political and government inference. The UK differs greatly from higher performing nations such as Finland where education is left to educationalists. Politicians there don’t feel qualified to intervene in the school system.
Equally, the lack of professional trust for teachers is a bugbear for many. When manifested in the observations regime, this becomes a particular source of anxiety.
Almost every respondent so far has mentioned workload. The DfE’s own statistics show an upward trend with primary teachers clocking up around fifty-nine hours a week in 2013 and secondary teachers just four hours behind.
The DfE’s approach is to ask teachers and schools to come up a bottom up solution to workload. However, few teachers seem to perceive the pressure as anything other than top down, coming from both the government and Ofsted.
Relying on school leaders, who are also at the sharp end of this downward pressure means any positive change is piecemeal. A few respondents count themselves lucky to be in schools where leaders trust their staff and take steps to control excessive workload.
My survey will remain open for another day and I’d love to hear your views.
Next week I’ll be running the first of three Webinars with practical advice on tackling your own workload.

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