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Teachers are "unsupported, undervalued and disrespected"

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Tuesday 25 August 2020

Teachers are "unsupported, undervalued and disrespected"

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Teachers' workload is unsustainable and driving people away from the profession, according to a hard-hitting new report.

According to the Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel, which published its findings this morning, the issue of retention has hit “crisis point” with teachers feeling unsupported, undervalued and disrespected.

As well as talking to politicians and managers, the panel commissioned a series of focus groups, organised by a market research company and attended by 37 teachers.

Overall, they felt under constant scrutiny, that there was a lack of support and career opportunities, and their workload was excessive, with most working more than 60 hours a week. 


Pictured: The panel found that teachers face high levels of scrutiny and an unsustainable workload, which included a significant number of tasks that were not directly related to teaching. 

The panel found that, despite this discontent, the Education Department did not have a thorough system in place to find out why teachers were unhappy, particularly when they left a job.

“There appears to be a lack of data in relation to the reasons why teachers and lecturers are leaving the profession, as well as an apparent ineffective exit interview process which, in 2019, was only undertaken by 20% of the teachers leaving their roles,” their report concludes. 

“We recommend that urgent attention be given to collecting stronger and accurate data as well as developing a fit-for-purpose exit interview process and policy.”


Pictured: Teachers who are parents want more part-time and job-share opportunities.

Other findings include: 

  • the cost of living in the Island is especially challenging for those being recruited from overseas, along with the relocation package offered to teachers.
  • There is a lack of part-time and job-share opportunities available to teachers and lecturers, which particularly affects those with young children. 
  • There is a lack of funding for the education system, which also contributed to the increased workload and additional pressures being faced by teachers and lecturers. 

The panel’s recommendations include:

  • there needs to be an urgent revaluation by CYPES on the aims of teacher performance. This includes the level of scrutiny of their role, and increased business support for schools with the aim of freeing up teachers from undertaking tasks indirectly related to their role.
  • There needs to be clear, long-term actions to reduce teacher workload.


Pictured: Former teacher Deputy Rob Ward chairs the panel.

Panel chair Deputy Rob Ward said: “We have concluded that there must be greater recognition of the value of the profession to our island and significant increases in funding within education are needed to support this. 

“We also urgently need to re-examine the culture within education, which we find has created barriers to teachers and lecturers delivering their key objective of providing children and young people with an inspirational education.”

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