Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, recently announced the need for schools to get the balance of work right for teachers. To try and gain this perfect balance the Education Secretary believes schools need to ban emails and marking after working hours and at the weekend.
Nicky Morgan believes that by not expecting teachers to answer any emails or mark their pupils work after 5pm each day, could be a factor in solving the worst recruitment crisis Britain has experienced in 36 years.
A DFE spokesperson recently stated that “last year we launched the Workload Challenge – which received more than 44,000 responses. We recognise there is more work to do which is why the Department Of Education has set up three new working groups to look closely at the key areas of concern and to suggest ways to help teachers focus on what really matters”.
Teaching unions have continued to point out that the growing workload teachers have is partly to blame for putting people off becoming teacher, and not enough is being done to stop this even after the ‘Workload Challenge’. This response was backed up by the Education Secretary who recently said that teachers are currently spending too much of their time marking and responding to emails instead of focusing on teaching. The Education Secretary continued to say that crippling workloads have left teachers struggling to plan lessons and driven people away from joining the profession. This however is believed to be one of many factors causing people to be driven away from becoming teachers. The ATL teaching union recently claimed that four in ten teachers quit within a year of qualifying and joining the profession. This claim however has been proven incorrect by the Department of Education recent reports showed that 87% of teachers stay in the profession after their first year, with Nicky Morgan claiming that “unions don’t often tell the positive side of teaching”.
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL stated that head teachers are not making up the fact teachers are leaving so soon after qualifying. “Nicky Morgan can deny there is a teaching recruitment crisis but the fact is that head teachers up and down the country can’t get teachers in the core subjects. Classes are being doubled up and teachers are teaching in subjects they aren’t fully trained to teach”.
But is Nicky Morgan’s new idea enough? How can Nicky Morgan expect teachers to stop emails and marking after 5pm and remain up to date? Is this really going to reduce the teacher’s workload at all? Will it just mean teachers prioritise their marking and emails done earlier leaving lesson planning to be done late into the night instead? Surely if Nicky Morgan wants to help reduce the workload, wouldn’t constant testing need be abolished to reduce the amount of marking itself? What do you think, how can the Education Secretary help reduce the workload and make the profession more desirable? Have your say…