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Teachers burned out? Drowning in workload and abused by pupils?

(59 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jul-19 14:25:30

Never fear, the DfE have a solution:

A panel to investigate and give a report as early as next year.

And how many classroom teachers are on the panel might you ask? I think you can guess!

schoolsweek.co.uk/revealed-the-expert-panel-members-tasked-with-improving-teacher-wellbeing/

Here’s my solution: more non-contact time, Ofsted outstanding grading to be scrapped, centralised detention systems to be mandatory, increase the number of PRUs and make heads and SLT personally responsible for teacher turnover at their school.

Not my solution: cakes in the staff room. Yoga and mindfulness sessions during INSET. Headteacher saying ‘Good job everyone’.

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noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jul-19 14:35:53

“A survey by teaching union NASUWT found that 85 per cent of teachers have had trouble sleeping, 77 per cent have experienced anxiety and 30 per cent have turned to medication because of their job.

The 2017-18 labour force survey found that teaching was one of three professions with the highest reports of stress and depression.”

I mean, bloody hell that’s bad.

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CarrieBlue Sat 06-Jul-19 14:36:19

Centralised funding for staff so that schools can employ the best rather than the cheapest without screwing up the budget.
Immediate pay increase to bring salaries back to a real terms rise to improve standard of living (and therefore esteem of profession).
No SLT appointments with less than UPS 2 (so they know about teaching before telling the rest of us how to do it)

noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jul-19 14:44:04

How could I have forgotten about funding?!

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Piggywaspushed Sat 06-Jul-19 14:48:00

We have a staff meeting next week after school. We have to spend it cleaning and tidying and refreshing displays. all of which are not actually our job

Because wellbeing, natch.

Piggywaspushed Sat 06-Jul-19 14:52:25

There are actually some good people on that list -but, yeah, where are the classroom teachers? And why do those few schools (London based , mainly) get representation. Do they speak for all of us?

noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jul-19 14:52:59

I once worked in a job (not in a school) where morale was so seriously low that no one wanted to go to the summer social.

So they made it compulsory, in work time and you weren’t allowed to book it off as holiday. Managers were in fancy dress. Silly races were involved.

It was the most dismal event ever. People clockwatching till they could leave. And it rained.

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noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jul-19 14:54:33

If this panel doesn’t report back on the serious problems in schools with the expectation that the DfE will address them, with the clout of Ofsted behind them, then this exercise will be as effective as the summer fun day.

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floraloctopus Sat 06-Jul-19 14:58:43

What a waste of money. This is the education equivalent of investigations into multi car pile ups which decide that the cause was people driving too fast and too close together.

QueenofCBA Sat 06-Jul-19 14:58:46

Here’s my solution: more non-contact time, Ofsted outstanding grading to be scrapped, centralised detention systems to be mandatory, increase the number of PRUs and make heads and SLT personally responsible for teacher turnover at their school.

Not my solution: cakes in the staff room. Yoga and mindfulness sessions during INSET. Headteacher saying ‘Good job everyone’.

Amen to that.

floraloctopus Sat 06-Jul-19 14:59:25

noble for PM.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 06-Jul-19 15:09:35

Schools minister Nick Gibb, who attended the first meeting, said the group will play a “crucial role” in providing “expert advice to help prioritise teachers’ mental health and wellbeing – setting a positive example for pupils.”

This sounds like it might go down the ‘things teachers can do to improve their well being’ route rather than the ‘dealing with the underlying issues’ route. Not sure how it’s going to be setting a positive role model otherwise.

herculepoirot2 Sat 06-Jul-19 16:45:52

Can I add to to that solution: students who repeatedly show themselves to be unable to behave with basic respect for the law (swearing/violence/threats/bullying) can be excluded without ludicrous standards for “help” and “support”, amounting to letting them get away with it for years. A reasonable case for exclusion needs to be sufficient. And no entitlement to another mainstream school place.

herculepoirot2 Sat 06-Jul-19 17:25:42

I would add:

- no more than one after school meeting a week (inc Parents’ Evening)
- no more than one Parents’ Evening a year KS3 and two KS4/Y13

CoconutMango Sat 06-Jul-19 17:29:39

Noble for sxhools minister.
Does sound like it will be "things those silly teachers can do" though.

I am applying for a p/t teaching job having been out a while. I have anxiety and depression. This could be a bad combination.....

Piggywaspushed Sat 06-Jul-19 17:38:30

God, I hope they don't bring in no more than rules. My school would interpret that as a guide and raise the number accordingly! We are pretty good at one parents' evening a year per year group : if the guide was no more than two, we'd end up with two.

EvilTwins Sat 06-Jul-19 17:41:53

I’ve been out of mainstream school for 2 years now, though I do still teach. I run my own course, under the umbrella of a virtual school. My stress levels have dropped massively. The things that have made the biggest difference are..

1. Autonomy. I am still delivering a qualification and am still funded by the government (via the virtual school) but my bosses trust that I know what I’m doing and that I know best how to deliver the curriculum and so they leave me alone and let me get on with it, which is bliss.

2. Because the SLT are in a different place, they can only contact me by email, and they only do that if it’s necessary.

3. The virtual school is all over the country and so INSET days HAVE to be useful otherwise it wouldn’t be worthwhile travelling to them. So they are well planned and helpful. And can’t be done after school.

3. No after school meetings - my line manager is elsewhere so we talk on the phone or via email.

4, The virtual school handles admin and data centrally, so I don’t have to do anything more than once and am not asked to do anything that’s not strictly necessary.

All of this made me realise how much time was wasted in school on things that had literally no impact on the students. The unnecessary shit is what causes most of the stress. Too many things done just for the sake of it. Even though I’m essentially running a business now as well as teaching full time, my workload has gone down massively and so have my levels of stress.

So my answer is this - don’t ask teachers to do anything that doesn’t have a direct impact on the students. And trust us to do our jobs.

MsAwesomeDragon Sat 06-Jul-19 17:53:35

So many good ideas on this thread.

Increasing my non-contact time would be the single most effective thing to improve my wellbeing. Instead, we're actually losing an hour of non-teaching time this year because we were over the statutory minimum and we can't afford that any more.

Closely followed by expanding alternative provision in PRUs or similar, so pupils who need extra support and more adult input can get it without putting more pressure on teachers or taking resources from the more average pupils.

I like cake in the staffroom, but it's not going to improve my well-being, in fact it's detrimental to my wellbeing as I just get fatter. And our head does say "well done everyone!" In possibly the most patronising way ever, so we actually feel that it isn't meant, even though he probably does mean it and just isn't very good at expressing himself. It doesn't stop the ever increasing workload though, even if he did mean it.

herculepoirot2 Sat 06-Jul-19 18:03:53

My school would interpret that as a guide and raise the number accordingly! We are pretty good at one parents' evening a year per year group : if the guide was no more than two, we'd end up with two.

Good point. Two for every year group round here. Ludicrous, as you have some people giving up 12/13 evenings a year.

crocsaretoocoolforschool Sat 06-Jul-19 20:00:38

This year in staff meeting we have had an hour to clean our cupboards as the head didn't think we were maximising storage, and an hour playing bingo in the name of wellbeing

I would have preferred to go home earlier -would have been much better for my wellbeing!

herculepoirot2 Sat 06-Jul-19 20:27:34

crocsaretoocoolforschool

Oh, my god. I would go off like Vesuvius if someone suggested an hour playing bingo was a better use of my time or better for my wellbeing than planning my lessons, marking, going for a run, spending an hour with my child, lying in the sun picking flies out of my hair, or virtually anything else.

All the words I can think of for the person who came up with that are too offensive to post here.

Banana770 Sun 07-Jul-19 00:04:09

I agree with more non contact time, that would be the most effective way to improve my work life balance. I think making schools publish figures on staff turnover yearly on their website would potentially incentivise SLT to improve their approach to staff in some cases!

helloisitmeyourelookingfor Sun 07-Jul-19 00:21:38

Our SLT are very switched on to supporting us manage workload and consequently we have a very low staff turnover and a good proportion of those that move on do so to advance their career -but we totally appreciate that we are very lucky

We do have a reasonable amount of cake and chocolate in the staffroom but we also have no huge clashes of workload (reports come at a different time of year to formal assessments for example) teachers without form responsibilities free up other teachers from form time when workload spikes, and meetings are kept to a minimum -if it can be done by email it is

I listen to some of my friends talk about their workload at other schools and I'm genuinely shocked

Piggywaspushed Sun 07-Jul-19 09:34:53

Yet another 'but teachers aren't stressed' thread has popped up overnight.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Jul-19 10:06:26

And got 200-hundred odd posts. I can’t help but notice that the one telling people to be thankful to NHS staff has only got 30-odd.

If that had been ‘be thankful to school staff’ it would have been a massive pile-on.

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