Teacher workload still increasing, warns union

Written by Tom Freeman on 6 June 2018 in News

EIS annual survey reveals an increase in those experiencing rising workload

Marking - Tobias Von Der Har

Teachers are still experiencing a continued increase in workload pressure despite government attempts to ease it, a trade union has warned.

Members of Scotland’s biggest teaching union the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) responded overwhelmingly to a survey that workload was the biggest cause of dissatisfaction with their job.

Eighty-four per cent believed workload had increased over the 2017-18 academic year, while 90 per cent stated they do not have sufficient time to dedicate to professional learning.

The EIS is campaigning for a significant payrise for teachers.

Ahead of the EIS AGM, which begins tomorrow, general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Despite statements from the Scottish Government, local authorities and national education bodies that promised action to tackle excessive levels of teacher workload, the results of our survey indicate that little has improved and some difficulties actually seems to have grown worse.

He added: “We have frequently been told that meaningful pay rises are unaffordable, but that extra teachers are being employed and that workload is being tackled.

“These survey results confirm that teachers are seeing little improvement, and that severe pressure continues to be piled onto our overworked, undervalued and underpaid teachers. This clearly highlights the need for increased investment in education and in the pay of Scotland’s teachers.”

Scottish Labour shadow cabinet spokesperson on Education, Iain Gray, said: “Scotland has thousands of fewer teachers since the SNP came to power, and with most professionals not recommending the job it could get even worse.

“While SNP Education Secretary John Swinney wastes his time on school governance reforms no one wants or supports, and which will not improve our schools, overworked and underpaid teachers are having to manage ever larger numbers of children in classes.”

Liberal Democrat Tavish Scott called for a new review of teachers’ terms and conditions.

"The Government have said they are reducing teacher workload. But these figures show the opposite. Pressure in the classroom is getting worse not better,” he said.

"There is no avoiding the conclusion that many teachers do not feel they are valued or that the classroom is a good choice of career. That is deeply worrying for the future of education across Scotland.”

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