Teachers feeling the pressure after a decade of cuts

A shocking survey commissioned by the NASUWT has revealed the scale of the pressure on Scotland’s teachers.

A flurry of reforms combined with real term pay cuts has left teachers struggling to cope. The survey from the teaching union shows that the increased workload is starting to bite. When asked to rate their workload out of ten, more than half of all teachers placed it at nine or above. The removal of official guidelines for which administrative duties they should carry out has also been devastating, and has seen an increase in work for almost three quarters of teachers.

Most teachers are now forced to take work home, as well as stay after work for extra meetings, all of which is unpaid. Around 80 per cent of teachers place the blame squarely at the cuts imposed by the Scottish Government. Real term pay has fallen by 25 per cent since the SNP entered office, and teachers say that this has impacted on their own lives by a ratio of 13 to 1.

All these cuts and reforms have culminated in a miserable atmosphere for Scotland’s educators. Only half of all teachers feel satisfied in their jobs, with a third saying they would opt for a different career if they had a choice. This backs up an earlier survey by the EIS which found that most teachers would no longer recommend the profession.

Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, called on the Scottish Government to take note of these results, saying that: “Ministers, employers and schools must take heed and act now.”

Commenting on the survey Scottish Labour's education spokesperson Iain Gray MSP said:

"These are shocking figures that once again expose how teachers and pupils across the country are being failed by this SNP government.

“With thousands of fewer teachers since the SNP came to power, and salaries now down by 20 per cent in real terms, it is no surprise so many are feeling dissatisfied or would choose a different profession.

“While SNP Education Secretary John Swinney wastes his time on school governance reforms which will not improve our schools, overworked and underpaid teachers are having to manage ever larger numbers of children in classes.

“No wonder the attainment gap between the richest and the poorest kids remains stubbornly large with teachers increasingly unable to give pupils one-to-one support.  No wonder we have a teacher recruitment crisis.

“It is time John Swinney restored teachers’ pay and gave our children the resources they need to succeed in school.

“Scottish Labour will always be on the side of teachers and pupils.”

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