Scottish teachers warn of increased workload

Teachers have warned over increasing workloads. Picture: Getty
Teachers have warned over increasing workloads. Picture: Getty
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A survey has highlighted high levels of increased workload and continuing concerns about the new curriculum among nursery and primary teachers.

The poll by the country’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), found that more than 80% of respondents described the increase in their workload as a result of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) as either high or very high.

Meanwhile, over half of teachers were either barely confident (43.9%) or not confident at all (9.7%) about the forms of assessment associated with CfE.

A further 62.3% of respondents described the current preferred methods of gauging CfE progress as barely useful (44.6%) or not useful at all (17.7%).

Concerns were also highlighted in relation to high levels of forward-planning and P7 profiling, which is aimed at supporting the transition process for pupils about to enter secondary school.


The EIS questioned almost 4,000 teachers during a three-week period.

Union president Susan Quinn said: “The findings of this major EIS survey highlight the growing workload burden that is being placed on both nursery and primary teachers during the continuing implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.

“There is a widely-held belief within the education community that CfE is further along in the pre-5 and primary sector compared to the secondary and further education sectors.

“While there may be an element of truth in this, it is certainly not the case that implementing CfE is a simple matter for teachers in these sectors.”

Ms Quinn added: “CfE is designed to be teacher-led and pupil-focused, and too much time spent jumping through hoops of red-tape is counter-productive and runs contrary to the ethos of CfE.”

The EIS recently launched a new campaign to address the issue of teacher workload following feedback from both primary and secondary teaching staff.