Teachers so overworked most would not recommend the job
A survey from the Educational Institute of Scotland, Scotland's largest teaching union, has found that the increase in workload for teachers in Scotland is so severe they would no longer recommend the profession to friends.
85 per cent of Scottish teachers surveyed thought that their workload had increased over the last school year, with over a third saying that it had increased 'significantly'. When asked to rate their satisfaction with the work out of 10, the average response was a mere 4, with workload and changes to the curriculum the chief factors in dissatisfaction. 58 per cent would no longer recommend teaching as a career, up 4 per cent on last year.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said:
“[The] results of this survey make for worrying reading. 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."
"The EIS is currently in the midst of a major pay campaign urging the Scottish Government and local authorities to value education and value teachers. 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.”
The Scottish Government has come under severe criticism for their handling of education in all areas, particularly teacher pay and testing. The real take home pay of teachers has dropped by over 20% in the last decade - making Scotland one of the few countries in the OECD to have seen teacher pay fall. The EIS is demanding a 10% rise just to keep up with living costs, but so far this has fallen on deaf ears.
The SNP have also introduced a new raft of standardised tests, and other free market based educational reforms, which have been welcomed by the Conservatives and opposed by Labour and other opposition parties. Teachers say that these have contributed to a difficult working environment.
A selection of the responses to the EIS survey paint a grim picture:
"The amount of paperwork is unbelievable. With so many new schemes and programmes being introduced council-wide and school-specific, whether for health and wellbeing or maths or any other part of the curriculum, we are constantly changing how we teach and what we use to teach."
"Staffing shortages have created a significant increase in workload."
"The curriculum becomes more cluttered every year. So many Experiences & Outcomes at second level mean no depth in teaching… everything taught at a rushed and superficial pace."
"Due to staff shortages I have been doing two peoples jobs since last June."
Responding to the report, Scottish Labour shadow cabinet spokesperson on Education, Iain Gray, said:
“Teachers and pupils across the country are being failed by this SNP government.
“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.
“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’s 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.”