Stressed teachers would not recommend teaching as a career

Written by Gemma Fraser on 11 January 2019 in News

An EIS survey reveals more than 75 per cent of teachers say they are stressed at work

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Scotland’s largest teaching union has revealed more than 75 per cent of teachers feel stressed as a result of their workload.

More than 12,000 teachers took part in the EIS survey as part of the union’s Value Education, Value Teachers pay campaign.

It revealed 76 per cent of all respondents stated their workload left them feeling stressed frequently or all the time.

It also revealed that 70 per cent of those who took part in the survey would not recommend teaching as a career.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, put the discontent amongst teachers down to a “toxic combination of soaring workload and declining pay”.

He said: “Our aim was to gather information on the issues affecting teachers, to provide a firm evidence base to support our ongoing campaigning.

"Discontent over levels of pay featured strongly, as did concerns over excessive workload demands and their impact on health and wellbeing. The fact that more than 75 per cent of teachers frequently feel stressed at work is worrying news – for teachers, for pupils and for Scottish education.

"While our Value Education, Value Teachers campaign is primarily about reversing the decade-long sharp real-terms decline in teachers' pay, the campaign has also become a lightning rod for other issues of significant concern.

"Excessive workload and high levels of stress are clearly also contributing to the high levels of dissatisfaction felt by many teachers. It is this toxic combination of soaring workload and declining pay that has created the current recruitment and retention crisis facing Scottish education."

Mr Flanagan added: "Both of these issues must be addressed to ensure that Scotland’s education system can continue to meet the needs of learners in the future."

The EIS is set to hold a special meeting on 12 January where next steps – including possible strike action – will be decided upon.

The union has been embroiled in a pay dispute with the Scottish Government and COSLA since last April.

Teachers want a ten per cent pay rise, but have not yet received a pay offer they deem acceptable.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "We have undertaken a range of actions to reduce teacher workload, acting to clarify and simplify the curriculum framework and to remove unnecessary bureaucracy while the education reforms being implemented by this government will also create new opportunities for teachers to develop their careers.

"The Scottish Government and local authorities have made an improved pay offer which, including increases as a result of restructuring the pay scale, would see teachers receiving a minimum eight per cent increase between January 2018 and April, with a further three per cent in the third year of the proposed deal.

 "This is a better deal than for any group of public sector workers in the UK and we urge the teaching unions to put this to their members for approval.”

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