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Wellbeing report : the full Monty(8 Posts)
Yet another report released in the graveyard slot but a fascinating read for those of you who know have time to read the whole thing!
To me, the most interesting aspect is the discrepancy between ordinary teachers and SLT
It is interesting that while SLT put more hours in, they are more satisfied in their work?
I also think the SLT in this must be non teaching SLT rather than your usual primary SLT who do it all!
I think that suggests that satisfaction is quite strongly linked to status and empowerment. It is quite interesting reading through this how much classroom teachers feel under resourced and disempowered.
I have to say I am inclined to think quite a lot of SLT exaggerate their hours (at least in the sector I know of). We have a large SLT and I would not say that most of them work significantly more hours than a lot of teachers. We do have one who arrives at the crack of dawn but most of the arrive around 7.45 - 8 am. They might well not leave on any given day til about 5.30 ( and a few of them later but only under quite specific circumstances that tend to affect lots of staff eg parents' evenings) but they have negligible planning, marking and teaching. I think my satisfaction would be higher if I only had a couple of classes to teach! The meetings they have with parents can be fraught but they don't need to do them in their lunch time of their one precious free and they also have a real sense of team , and occasionally get to meet bigwigs. They also tend to get direct praise (albeit also direct criticism) and lots of direct credit, which is also satisfying. They also praise each other and support each other. I do hope SLTs read this and acknowledged and accept the work they have to do in making teachers feel valued and supported, without increasing admin.
Agree that breaking this down unto different age phases more fully would be very interesting, although a few comments do pinpoint significant differences.
I’m not SLT (although for the purposes of being transparent I am going into an SLT post in September) but have shadowed SLT for a few years now. I do think SLT generally work longer hours than the average classroom teacher. Not longer than every classroom teacher but definitely more than the average in my school. There are some members of SLT that do a huge number of hours (our DSL, in particular, has a huge workload). That being said, what they have is a higher level of autonomy and fewer things out of their control. They are not dictated to as much and that has a huge impact on wellbeing IMO. Doing long hours is less stressful when you have more choice about what you are doing and more of your workload is within your control.
I have always noticed that SLT work fewer hours than most of the teaching staff! Our assistant head (primary) is in class 3 days, out of class two days, works 8.15-4.15 most days and told me she almost never takes work home. She is well-known for missing deadlines and not doing what she should be in the classroom but talks a good talk on the SLT side of things so gets away with the poor classroom stuff.
I'm sure there are good SLT but I've seen lots who combine it with poor classroom practice and that's what pisses ordinary teachers off.
When I was SLT, I worked much longer hours than I did (and do again) as a teacher with no TLR. However, being a Head of Science was comparable in terms of workload (and stress). Partly it's down to hours (in both times I had to pick up the slack as we were always chronically understaffed in Science - couldn't recruit good enough teachers), and partly to accountability. If your accountability is core subject results (I have done Science and Maths - both at the same time!), then there is a level of immediate stress there that a less clearly defined accountability (common with AHTs) does not have.
But I think the point is rather that the long hours do not equate directly to stress and wellbeing. The survey clearly shows the longer hours of SLT do not necessarily mean they have worse sense of wellbeing.
I think posters who have mentioned autonomy hit the nail on the head but it is also trust. I feel a little but like the enemy to SLT at times , as we teachers are the ones that can put their school at risk.
Parents also get a mention as affecting teacher wellbeing, I note!
Two hours in your office, door shut, mug of tea, fan on and working very intensely on your computer does not have the same level of stress as two hours teaching in an over-heated classroom, differentiated to 5 levels in a class with 30+ other bodies who are all wanting attention. After you’ve just done break duty.
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