Major teacher survey reveals scale of discontent

Written by Gemma Fraser on 25 January 2019 in News

It is the largest survey of its type to be carried out in Scotland this decade.

Image credit: David Davies/PA Wire

A major survey of more than 12,000 Scottish teachers seeking views on stress levels and workload has revealed the scale of the problem in the profession.

A total of 12,250 teachers completed the online survey last month which was carried out by the EIS, Scotland’s largest teaching union.

Amongst the key findings of the survey were that 76 per cent of teachers who responded said they felt stressed ‘frequently’ or ‘all the time’.

Eighty-eight per cent said they felt their stress levels had either stayed the same or increased over the past year.

A significant number of teachers – 64 per cent – reported working more than five hours over their contracted hours every week.

On the issue of workload, 82 per cent said they were dissatisfied with their workload levels, while more than 78 per cent disagreed that there was adequate provision for children with additional support needs in school.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “This survey represents the largest study of the views of Scotland’s teachers in the past decade.

“The EIS carried out this exercise to provide an evidence base for our Value Education, Value Teachers campaign.

“It is no surprise that dissatisfaction over levels of pay ranked highest on the list of concerns that teachers want to see addressed. However, frustration over high levels of workload and concerns over levels of provision for pupils with Additional Support Needs also ranked very high in the survey results.”

A long-running pay dispute, which has yet to be resolved, could see teachers ballot for strike action if an improved offer is not made before the end of the month.

Flanagan added: “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.

“Pay will be the main focus of our Value Education, Value Teachers campaign, until we secure an increase acceptable to our members. Once this element of the campaign is settled, however, we will refocus our campaign objectives onto the other key areas of concern identified by Scotland’s teachers.”

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