Teachers at '˜breaking point' over workload

Severe workload remains a major concern for Scotland's teachers, a survey published ahead of a teaching union's annual general meeting reveals.

The survey by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) conference which starts in Dundee on Thursday shows a wide range of other concerns including the negative impact of workload on wellbeing, lack of time available for professional development, major curricular change and long working hours.

It also shows 58 per cent of respondents indicated they would not recommend teaching as a career – an increase of four per cent from last year,

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The total number of respondents indicating an increase in workload was 85 per cent.

One of the teachers in the survey commented: “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.”

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said: “The survey result 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 in the midst of a major pay campaign urging the Scottish Government and local authorities to value education and value teachers.

“These survey results confirm 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.”

Iain Gray, Scottish Labour shadow cabinet spokesman, 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.

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“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.”