Workload pressures haunt
teachers here and overseas

Mary Fogarty
Research Officer

Federation to meet DEC on pressures on teachers.

Tens of thousands of teachers in England recently offered their suggestions to the education department on how authorities could ease the pressure on the profession.

Ideas included clearer guidance on the evidence teachers are required to produce for inspections, realistic guidelines on how much marking is expected and reducing the amount of data teachers have to collect.

In NSW, Federation’s Assessment and Reporting Restricted Committee is meeting with the Department of Education and Communities in regard to the development of a revised curriculum, planning, programming and assessing policy.

Federation wants the policy to reduce the current workload associated with assessment and reporting processes in schools.

A recent Times Educational Supplement survey reveals most teachers in England spend significant time on lesson planning, marking and data entry beyond the 1265 hours they must be available for duty during the school year.

The survey of 800 teachers found that while more than half of classroom teachers work at least 12 additional hours each week, 15 per cent of work at least 21 extra hours per week. Head teachers are even worse off with 24 per cent of assistant and deputy head teachers working in excess of 21 extra hours. This increases to 31 per cent among school leaders.

In NSW, school teachers’ attendance time equates to 1200 hours in the school year. Federation’s Assessment and Reporting Restricted Committee reports teachers work significant hours beyond the required attendance time to prepare lessons, mark student work, write reports and attend school meetings.

Scrutiny should test for unnecessary work