19 Days Remaining

Wednesday 12th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

TEACHERS should be paid for time spent marking, conducting detentions and phoning parents, a teaching union said yesterday.

Amid warnings of an ongoing crisis in teacher workload, delegates at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference called for “directed time” to be redefined as including all tasks necessary for the job.

A motion overwhelmingly passed at the conference said there was huge variation in whether schools allowed teachers time for such duties. But it said such lenience was “on the fast-track road to extinction.”

The conference also heard stories of part-time teachers performing such tasks on their days off, and having to attend staff training days without pay.

“Life is for living,” Somerset delegate Emma Weetch told the hall. “Do not let your work consume it.”

In a formal address, ATL general secretary Shelagh Hirst said teachers were being driven out by a longhours culture and burnout.

She said teachers faced “sleepless nights, exhaustion, the constant feeling that they should be doing more” and a lack of recognition for their hard work.

“They are under constant scrutiny, from Ofsted and appraisal systems, with the threat of capability measures sometimes after only one less-than-perfect lesson observation,” she said.

She urged the new National Education Union, which will be formed in the autumn from a merger of the ATL and the National Union of Teachers, to “speak out loud and clear” over the workload issue.