The Green Party has issued an urgent call on the government to relieve the pressure on teachers and protect children’s education.
Their intervention comes after the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) warned that the combination of rising pupil numbers and falling teacher morale could lead to a crisis in the teaching profession.
Pupil number forecasts predict that the number of children aged under 16 in full time education will rise by 615,000 in the next five years and reports from a survey by the National Union of Teachers this week have also highlighted that half of current teachers have planned to quit over the coming two years.
Green Party schools spokesperson Samantha Pancheri said:
“The government has repeatedly been made aware of the workplace crisis facing teachers today, not least by their own Workload Challenge survey carried out in 2014, and repeated calls from teaching unions to address the increasing demands on teaching staff. Primary and secondary school teachers work an average of 60 hours per week, with a staggering 67% of those surveyed saying that their job had adversely impacted their physical and mental health.
“As the threat of forced academisation of schools has become an ongoing worry for many teachers, the pressure to manage soaring levels of administrative work on top of time spent teaching is simply burning teachers out.
“The government must act now, invest in education, and reverse its damaging academisation and privatisation policies. Only then will teachers feel valued and be given the time and support they need to do what they want to do: teach. That will benefit teachers, our entire education system, and most importantly, the children, teenagers, and adults it is supposed to help.”