Teachers in England have ‘unmanageable’ job – global survey

More than half of all secondary schoolteachers in England say their job is “unmanageable”, according to an international survey revealing that teachers in England have one of the highest workloads in the world. The Guardian reports.

The survey of teachers and school leaders in 48 countries conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) makes depressing reading for those in the profession in England, who had longer working days than anywhere else other than Japan.

John Jerrim, professor of education and social statistics at UCL’s institute of education, said there had been a clear fall in job satisfaction since the last teaching and learning international survey, noting that more than half of secondary teachers said they may have been better to have chosen another career.

One cause appeared to be the volumes of marking required by teachers in England, where, despite years of effort by successive education secretaries, the high proportion of teachers having to mark and write feedback for pupils remains unchanged since the previous survey in 2013.

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, endorsed the survey’s results, saying: “We know that too many teachers are having to work too many hours each week on unnecessary tasks, which is why I have taken on a battle to reduce teachers’ workload so that they can focus on spending their time in the classroom, doing what they do best – teaching.”

While other countries have teachers with an average age of 44, those in England are on average 39 years old, with 18% remaining in the profession after the age of 50 compared with an average of 34% elsewhere.

One reason may be the OECD’s finding that younger teachers – those with up to five years’ experience – usually worked two hours longer each week than their more experienced colleagues, with 50% leaving before the end of five years.

The latest survey showed that many teachers working hours have got longer since the previous survey in 2013, from 48 to more than 49 hours a week for secondary school teachers. Primary school teachers in England recorded working 52 hours a week, longer than their peers in other countries apart from Japan.

Read more findings, including women in leadership roles and how weekly incidents of physical and verbal bullying among pupils has changed.  Teachers in England have ‘unmanageable’ job – global survey 

How many hours do you average a week? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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