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Workload unfairness

(42 Posts)
Roseformeplease Wed 24-Feb-16 20:57:02

Anyone else get pissed off at the difference in workload and hours between apparently "equal" teachers in terms of status and pay?

I teach English in a tiny school. There are 1.4 English teachers and 1.8 Maths teachers. Every other Dept has 1 teacher. I am in Scotland, if that matters.

I teach about 100 pupils a week: marking, preparing etc. A colleague, at the other end of the scale, has 14 pupils. Her subject is optional, and niche. Mine is compulsory and mainstream. Even other main subjects, say Biology, will have maybe 60 pupils tops. My classes are not huge by the standard of many schools (max 25) but I recently wrote 35 reports (Senior School) while a colleague in an unpopular subject wrote 4. I have parents' evenings coming up and will see 35 sets of parents. My colleague was rejoicing today - she has to see 3 sets, assuming they all turn up. That means she has to be in for 30 minutes; I will do 6 hours over 2 nights.

Not sure that much can be done. My classes are not maxed out and I am efficient and experienced, so I can cope.

Anyone else?

rollonthesummer Wed 24-Feb-16 21:45:39

Blimey-14?! Do the colleagues work the same number of hours as you?

noblegiraffe Wed 24-Feb-16 21:51:50

I've got 22 in my A-level group and was just talking to a colleague who has 4. envy

I reckon each subject has their shit points though. At least with maths everyone agrees it's important so parents are usually onside and we get money for intervention.

That music teacher might have 4 kids at A-level but have to put on choirs and stuff, also the awful din at KS3.

ImperialBlether Wed 24-Feb-16 21:53:01

I used to have this problem. I taught an A level in a popular subject and there were colleagues who taught 2 or 3 pupils. It's a completely different job.

Roseformeplease Wed 24-Feb-16 22:02:24

Yes. Same hours. Same pay. Same status. Stinks......

And don't get me started on the marking. I would live to be paid by numbers or results (I know this is controversial, and unworkable, but I can dream). My A Level ( Higher in Scotland) is 25 pupils - very mixed ability.

kickassangel Wed 24-Feb-16 22:04:49

It should be managed so that people have fairly even workloads. So PE teachers have very little marking, but they have to do sports matches after school Drama teachers put on plays etc.

If it isn't being managed so that people have a fairly even workload, then can you ask your union rep to raise this with senior management?

I groan when I have to see 60 parents, but know that the drama teacher puts on two plays a year, so it balances out pretty well.

timelytess Wed 24-Feb-16 22:06:42

Try being an RE teacher. My heaviest workload was over 600 pupils a week. I was teaching 26/30 x 50 minute sessions. I was supposed to know each child as an individual and set work appropriate to needs, engage the lot of 'em... write all the reports. English teachers had a max of 150 pupils, loads of time with them etc.

Roseformeplease Wed 24-Feb-16 22:07:34

Tiny school and our contracts in Scotland don't require any extra curricular (yes, even PE teachers). There is no Drama teacher but I put on the school play every year (from choice). I don't even count this as part of my workload, although it is. I could not stop doing it, as there would be no play.

I am just talking about across subjects.

timelytess Wed 24-Feb-16 22:07:58

Oh, and I didn't get equal pay to other HoDs, or equal funding per capita for pupils.

Roseformeplease Wed 24-Feb-16 22:09:26

No RE here either. That sounds terrible. We don't have RE as an exam subject - there is a bit but it is tokenism as we can't really staff it. The closest to me in terms of pupil contacts is PE with only some marking (exam PE).

Cleebope Wed 24-Feb-16 22:39:19

Really get your gripe- English teachers get the short straw in terms of marking workload. On top of that I have to help with all the extra curricular drama too, including evenings and the odd weekend. Some teachers (eg Technology) seem to get away with a much lighter load. Plus we are always under focus in inspections. But there is no solution...'take yer oil' as we say here(meaning 'suck it up')!

Roseformeplease Wed 24-Feb-16 22:58:30

Don't get me started on Techy teachers. Ours is off sick constantly, but just flies under the radar. But, classes are small, no marking, nothing.

Cleebope Thu 25-Feb-16 00:08:54

Yeah, we should've paid more attention to DIY as teens and to hell with books... Our lives as Tech teachers would be a doddle. We have an Economics teacher who only teaches A level . Leaves 3.30 on the dot and after April has practically 2 months off. Plus gets extra money for co ordinating the subject area! Never stressed. Not fair!

Roseformeplease Thu 25-Feb-16 08:14:09

We used to have a brilliant Tech teacher - the subject was populate and classes were full. Our current one is so terrible that pupils are advised against taking the subject and classes shrink. Easy in a subject that is optional past S2.

Littlemissjt Thu 25-Feb-16 08:23:46

Nothing helpful to say other than this annoys me too! (Maths teacher). These teachers really should be given extra roles within the school but doesn't happen. Just one of those things being an English or maths teacher I'm afraid.

kaitlinktm Thu 25-Feb-16 09:54:04

I taught languages in a large secondary for 25 years (am now semi-retired/part-time primary) and really felt for the English staff - especially the heavy marking workload and Ofsted spotlight.

On the plus side though, they had fewer classes but more time with them (so better for report-writing - and knowing them well) and they were able to have smaller classes as they could be put into 5-6 sets instead of three. They also got virtually all the TA support and pupils were taken out of my GCSE class at the drop of a hat to do extra English (and Maths, and Science) never mind that they were supposed to be doing their CA with me that week. angry

Also, the target grades in KS3 and 4 were regularly higher in the foreign language (which they only started in Year 7) than they were in English - because these were calculated using an average of their KS2 English/Maths results. I used to think it was very unfair that they were supposed to get a higher level in a subject they had only done for 3 years, as opposed to one they had done since Reception - but what did I know?

I still wouldn't swap though - if only for all that marking. At least in French or German they don't write as much!

noblegiraffe Thu 25-Feb-16 10:56:01

I don't envy English their marking workload but I do envy their cushy 'library lessons', where the kids just read a book.

I seem to spend all my time marking too, so I'd be interested in how the hours actually compare as it's always 'maths is much easier for marking' but I'm drowning in it.

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Feb-16 12:16:24

I would hate to teach a subject that the students had to pass. The pressure must be enormous.

Roseformeplease Thu 25-Feb-16 12:37:42

No library lessons here!

seven201 Thu 25-Feb-16 17:12:04

I teach tech Design and technology and spend most lunch times and a couple of after school sessions after school a week helping students make their products. We also have a lot of paperwork at my school and a strict marking policy. I often stay at school until 7 and work at weekends. I teach 2.5 yr 7 groups, 3 year 8, 2 year 9, 1 yr 10, 1 yr 11 and a yr 12 class - that's a lot of reports to write!

The grass isn't always greener. All subjects have their pluses and minuses. In English you probably know your students much better than I do (we rotate teachers in D&T at my school so they change over the year).

Roseformeplease Thu 25-Feb-16 18:25:49

How can more be done to balance workloads? Surely, if our pay is the same, them there ought to be some way of ensuring our jobs are the same.

(Just sat through entirely wasted CPD session on something useless for an hour when I would have preferred to get on with my work. Two teachers were let off - one is moving house, the other had arranged to see a pupil. Both have 1/3 to 1/2 my pupil contacts per week. I did cry a bit)

GinandJag Thu 25-Feb-16 18:26:58

I learnt a long time ago not to compare.

As a science teacher, I have to practise and prepare practical work, but I don't have to read every word that English and MFL teachers have to do. Nor do I have to be out on the school field in the winter for PE. I don't have to teach the whole school as the humanities teachers have to do. I'm not responsible for decorating the school or putting on productions.

Roseformeplease Thu 25-Feb-16 18:39:35

I have never compared before. I suppose that, after massive cuts, it is just a bit stark in my tiny school (120 secondary). So, my subject is compulsory and yet optional subjects, or minority languages can lessen their workload by discouraging pupils from taking them (or being off all the time, or getting poor results). Science teachers have to do much more keeping current, I know. Some teachers spend all lesson listening to pupils playing piano and violin badly - there are ups and downs in every department.

I think that what I would love is for management to go, look Rose, we know how much marking your pupils generate, and how many reports you have to write, why not skip today's shit CPD session.

seven201 Thu 25-Feb-16 18:43:31

I think although you have it bad in comparison within your small school, it sounds pretty average. If you feel you are owed something back either ask for it or pull a sickie! I am joking about the sickie btw.

LoveBoursin Thu 25-Feb-16 18:46:18

Non teacher there.

Isn't there a similar amount of work to do to prepare and deliver the lessons, whether there are 30 or 4 pupils?

So one major difference would be marking of course but I'm struggling to see how you can change that.

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