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To think there should be a teacher hierarchy ...

(38 Posts)
paniconthestreetsofdreams Tue 14-Nov-17 19:54:20

Possibly gf but I’m going there...

Should there be a hierarchy of teachers where you are paid more depending on your workload demands?

Looking around a staff room suggests to me that colleagues across secondary schools aren’t really carrying out the same job. Thoughts?

Pengggwn Tue 14-Nov-17 20:09:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

C0untDucku1a Tue 14-Nov-17 20:13:19

I know what you mean. I teach humanities and had a top set gcse class of 32. The person who had the same class in maths had only 22 of them. And a lot of the marking was self assessed. And almost the entire (and huge due to tiny class sizes) dept had a tlr. hmm

FellOutOfBed2wice Tue 14-Nov-17 20:29:49

Yeah, that wouldn’t work. I’m a secondary teacher in a core subject and husband is a secondary teacher in a humanities subject which is optional at GCSE. We both face different challenges (and like to wind the other up- I with my endless teasing that his subject isn’t a “real” one, his with his constant wind-up that my department have a huge budget and more SLT support) but they’re equally challenging challenges. I would be very upset to hear he was about to be paid less because his subject is less high profile, or I was about to be paid less becaus I’ve got smaller classes or whatever. Performance related pay is already disgusting in my opinion, something like your suggesting would have even more people leaving the profession.

paniconthestreetsofdreams Tue 14-Nov-17 20:31:34

Yes that’s exactly what I mean.

I don’t doubt most teachers work hard but it surely is a fact that some teachers have a much bigger workload than others.

English teacher in our school has one higher class and one national five class each with thirty pupils. All of whom write at least three folio pieces (two of which are ultimately selected) and will also write countless essays and many more practice exams all of which will have to be marked.

Home economics have no classes at presentation level in our school, class sixes of 20 and marking is booklet / multiple choice for lower school.

Teachers are paid exactly the same.

kaitlinktm Tue 14-Nov-17 20:37:59

Yes I agree with Fell - I taught MFL in secondary until 3 years ago. The core subjects had (much) smaller classes, TAs in all lower ability groups and much bigger budgets.

They also had more morning lessons with GCSE groups and I frequently lost pupils out of my GCSE lessons so that they could catch up with work in English and Maths.

However, MFL marking is not as onerous as English (don''t know about Maths) and they are (or were) under a lot of pressure. At the time the school results rose or fell according to the English and Maths results.

If you had looked around the staff room at break or lunch you wouldn't have seen any teaching staff. It was mostly used by TAs and other support staff as the teachers (including me) used to eat lunch in their classrooms and work and/or run detentions or extra classes, and at break there wasn't time to get there and back in time - that's if you didn't have a break duty. TBF the TAs did have break duties too.

Primaryteach87 Tue 14-Nov-17 20:43:28

Might make the powers that be stop the crazy workload if they had to pay more for the privilege of stressed out teachers! Not sure how it would work on practice though.

emsmum79 Tue 14-Nov-17 20:44:42

@paniconthestreetsofdreams, i couldn't agree more. As an English teacher (part-time) I mark at least 2000 pieces of work in a year. The PE teachers, HE teachers certainly don't do that. Changing levels of pay would be tough- I'd be happy with a couple extra non-contact periods!

C0untDucku1a Tue 14-Nov-17 20:48:52

In our staffroom at lunch is the learning support dept, entire maths every day and some english. PE on days when theyre not doing a lunch club. Thats it.

Quickchange1 Tue 14-Nov-17 20:50:36

but emsmum79 what about all the extra curricular the PE staff do? at my school there are clubs every day after school fixtures often into early evening and weekends doing cross country/athletics regional and national/cheerleading/ D of E . Huge amount of time!

johnthepong Tue 14-Nov-17 21:04:57

Well I'm a "home economics" teacher, I've got 2 year 10 groups, 2 year 11 groups and I've literally just got in from a 6th form open evening. I spend every. single. sodding evening in the supermarket buying ingredients for dems, pp kids, ingredients for experiments. We do no multiple choice work at ks3, I mark booklets every week and homework every other week. I also spend my lunch hours doing a million loads of laundry, scrubbing pans, cleaning the room getting it ready before the afternoon onslaught. And i get covered in dough/tomato sauce etc. My results are linked to a pay rise. I run coursework catch up clubs and cooking club for Ks3.
All subjects have their challenges.

paniconthestreetsofdreams Tue 14-Nov-17 21:07:56

Absolutely. Maybe more non contact would be the answer. Or smaller class sizes.

English teachers have extra curricular work too. Debate club, homework club, public speaking, school show etc etc

Obviously different pay scales wouldn’t work but the difference in workload is vast.

BG2015 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:10:33

Primary school teachers also only have one PPA afternoon - no ‘frees’ that our Seconadry school colleagues get.

We have to plan ALL subjects, resource and mark. EYFS and KS1 is very resource heavy, and Y1 and 2 still have a fair amount of marking to do. EYFS staff have to collate evidence and add into files which Ian very time consuming.

In my school we ALL do an after school club, some teachers do two. We stay behind to help with the Christmas and Summer Fair, disco’s and film clubs - all unpaid.

I’m nearly 49 and feeling pretty exhausted at the moment. How we are expected to keep going until we’re 67 is beyond me.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 21:18:21

BG Secondary PPA is 10% of teaching time, same as primary. You just have all yours at once and we have ours in hour long lesson chunks spread through the week.

I admit as a maths teacher with A-level classes of 20+ I look enviously at the MFL classes of 4.

To the PP who said that the maths dept all had TLRs - that might be the only way they could hire or keep teachers. We advertised unsuccessfully for a maths teacher for ages until we made up a TLR for it.

Rosieposy4 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:28:42

Come on chaps, classic divide and conquer
There are a few lazy arses, but I don't think they are subject specific.
Though i have to admit to a hmm at our A level MFL classes of 4/7 while my biology A level classes have 24-27 😳 And then we are constantly told how much intervention mfl do, no shit sherlock.

emsmum79 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:38:23

@Quickchange1, yes, PE teachers do a lot of extra-curricular and definitely should get the credit. I'm just not sure that the hours equal our marking hours.
@johnthepong - your message in particular makes it really clear how hard some teachers work no matter the subject.
My school is totally over-staffed in PE and totally understaffed in MFL and English. So, PE teachers have lots of non-contact periods and we really don't!
It's sad that there is animosity amongst teachers - we are all being pushed so far, expected to do so much with less and less each year that it is resulting in everyone feeling under so much pressure that we can't see that everyone is working hard. We should be taking it out on the governments and the exam boards!

kaitlinktm Tue 14-Nov-17 22:24:19

Noble - I don't know how your school can offer classes of 4. I don't think it can be the norm nationally. It wouldn't have run at our school unless there were more pupils. Some of us (me included) were made redundant in part because of this. I found almost without exception that Maths and English had smaller class sizes - because there were more core subject staff at our school so they could set right down to set 5.

I now work pt in a primary school, and yes, the staff work very, very hard - but so did I when I was full-time at secondary. It is counterproductive to say that one stage works harder than another.

Employers already have a fair amount of freedom to pay what they want - certainly in new jobs. I couldn't carry my place on the pay scale with me to my pt position (I didn't expect to) and other ex-colleagues have gone to ft jobs where they are paid less. The idea of paying people more or less depending on what they teach can only breed resentment and divisiveness.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 22:31:42

I don't know how your school can offer classes of 4.

Subsidised by the funding from huge maths classes, no doubt.

My school has an 'academic' sixth form, it would be bad for recruitment if it didn't offer traditionally academic subjects like MFL, so they run for the look of the thing.

If we're talking about paying certain teachers more, next year Maths trainees will be getting a £35,000 bursary (paid mostly upfront then over 5 years). All that money to get trainees to start a job, but no extra money to keep the ones that are already in it seems a bit nonsensical.

TheSnowFairy Tue 14-Nov-17 22:37:09

John our school has an online delivery weekly, would that help you?

Maelstrop Tue 14-Nov-17 22:38:07

Interesting concept. I admit, when I'm teaching A level and GCSE, there's more effort and marking and preparation needed. The students communicate via email and I respond late evening if that's when they ask me something. Some colleagues have fewer pressures, no exam classes.

None of us really get to the Staffroom. I make an effort to go once a week, Friday lunchtime, when I usually have 20 minutes or so, mostly with other Heads of Department. It's a good time to rant, relax, find out what they've been up to.

Maelstrop Tue 14-Nov-17 22:40:02

My school has an 'academic' sixth form, it would be bad for recruitment if it didn't offer traditionally academic subjects like MFL, so they run for the look of the thing.

Or maybe the increasingly important government measure of ebacc?? Not to mention the kids actually-shock, horror-wanting to do that subject?

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Nov-17 22:41:03

If the kids wanted to do it, there'd be more than 4 in the class! It runs at a loss.

MsJaneAusten Tue 14-Nov-17 22:48:41

What an interesting thread. I don’t think it needs this kind of divide and conquer though. We could all work together to make workload better.

My proposal is that every school employs more well qualified, enthusiastic cover supervisors. Subject teachers should then be allowed, nay encouraged to request cover as and when they need it. Year 9 just finished an assessment? Great. They can watch a film version of the book they’ve just studied with lovely Mr Cover while their English teacher marks their books. PE teacher stayed late for a tournament last night so she’s behind on her BTEC paperwork? No probs. Cheery Mr Cover will take her class on a cross country so she can catch up.

The whole teaching system just needs a massive shake up

MsJaneAusten Tue 14-Nov-17 22:50:09

Our school does the same as @Noble’s, though I think it’s music and art with the tiny classes.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Tue 14-Nov-17 22:50:49

I suspect it balances up one way or another. I always envied Maths at reports time when I could have along the lines of 15x30 individual reports to write on a KS3 heavy timetable, but then I could potentially reuse a lesson 4 or 5 times in a week cutting planning. My subject like English is very literacy based in output which is slow to mark. I've never envied the political pressure on core subjects, although mine ended up being one of Gove's chosen ones and there became a noticeable difference when the GCSE groups got bigger and filled with reluctant kids shoehorned in for the sake of Progress 8 data compared to when most had had a fairly free choice to continue it.

I'm wondering if there is a subject that is lower on planning, marking and extra-curricular? (And if it still exists in the current curriculum and budgets!)

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