Overworked teachers call for clarity and collaboration, new study finds

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Overworked teachers call for better collaboration between schools to improve delivery of remote learning during pandemic

 

  • Teacherly reveals 62% of UK teachers claim workload has increased during the pandemic
  • 75% of teachers suggest more collaboration between departments and other schools is required
  • The Sherborne Area Schools Trust (SAST) organises a ‘TeachMeet’ remote Inset event for 840 teachers on 22nd February offering opportunity for teaching community to collaborate

With increased demands placed on education providers in light of recent school closures, UK teachers are calling their employers to improve collaboration between departments and other schools to improve productivity and efficiency as well as increasing academic and pastoral support for students who are learning from home.

According to new research conducted by teaching community, Teacherly in conjunction with Censuswide, almost three quarters (74%) of teachers agree that better collaboration between staff and other education providers would not only lead to the creation of more relevant and engaging lessons for pupils but would also help with their performance.

The general feeling among the teaching community was discovered to be a mixture of concern, stress, confusion and worry. A quarter (25%) said that they were concerned about the health and safety of both colleagues and pupils, while 22% were also confused about the guidelines. A further 21% said they felt stressed with managing the extra needs of pupils at the moment, and 20% felt ‘exhausted’ by the extra responsibilities they are facing – including ensuring classrooms are Covid-secure for key worker children and ensuring pupils catch up on lost time.

As a result, workloads are increasing; 62% said that their time spent working had increased since returning to school this September, with almost a quarter (23%) claiming their time spent working had increased substantially.

As teachers call for improved collaboration, Teacherly will be supporting the ‘TeachMeet’ event, organised by Sherborne Area Schools Trust (SAST), on Monday 22nd February 2021. The theme is ‘the classroom after the storm’ and will bring together 840 teaching staff remotely to share resources and knowledge around topics such as the classroom of the future, hybrid learning and teacher wellbeing, among many others with keynotes from Jackie Beare and other lead educators.

As part of Teacherly’s research, teachers underlined lesson planning to be the most time-consuming activity for those who felt their working hours had increased, followed by teaching itself. Some teachers (21%) have found that conducting extra lessons to help pupils catch up is a new added stress. Related to this, 22% were also worried about the level of catching up that is required and the potential of pupils falling further behind.

When asked about ideal solutions for helping children catch up on lost time, 94% of teachers thought there was a solution that could be implemented. These ranged from longer school days and intensive online courses to additional lessons on weekends and individual tutoring at home.

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Atif Mahmood, CEO, Teacherly:

“Working conditions for teachers are exceptionally difficult at the moment and ensuring their wellbeing is essential for the profession. Providing support and sharing knowledge means teachers can support each other in areas that are proven to be time-consuming, including lesson-planning and creating lessons to help pupils catch up on lost time. Even teachers in different departments can share resources with each other to aid the creation of engaging lessons. Teamwork is widely recognised as being invaluable to meeting challenges – something that is no different for teachers, who are often working in isolation from each other at home. There are platforms and communities available to assist with this; working in this way allows different class groups, departments and even separate schools to forge new relationships and learn from each other – no matter where they are based geographically.”

Alex More, Lead Teacher of Innovation in Teaching & Learning atShaftesbury school, part of the Sherborne Area Schools Trust:

“Pandemic or no pandemic, we know that collaboration and knowledge sharing between teachers, departments and schools has a huge role to play in breeding greater productivity among teams. In scaling up our ‘TeachMeet’ event this year from 120 to 840, we have an opportunity to put collaboration into action. We’ll be addressing the key challenges facing teachers and sharing insights on the initiatives and technology that are vital to making those within the profession feel more empowered and supported at this time.”

Methodology Teacherly commissioned Censuswide to poll 500 UK teachers aged 18+. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

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