PRESS RELEASE – Workload 22nd March

We don’t just talk about high teacher workload, we take action to ensure it reduces- says National Union of Teachers

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) which represents over one thousand members in schools in Barnsley believes both parents and teachers should be concerned about the high levels of teacher workload. Workload is driving teachers out of the profession and making it harder to recruit and retain high quality teachers for our Barnsley children. Barnsley NUT has called a meeting with all the education stakeholders in Barnsley, including BMBC, Barnsley local Multi Academy Trusts, all the trade unions and the Barnsley Alliance, to discuss how we can work together to create a Barnsley Workload Charter for our schools. This charter will seek to tackle the high pressure and workloads of teachers employed in Barnsley by identifying specific ways to reduce teacher workload.

Nicola Fitzpatrick, Barnsley NUT Division Secretary said;

“We are deeply concerned that our workload surveys showed over 80% of our members in Barnsley are considering leaving the procession.  We all know how disruptive a change of teacher during the year can be for our children. Children in Barnsley deserve the best teachers and no teacher can teach well if they are exhausted and stressed. Our teachers need all our support; we should never forget that teacher’s working conditions are children’s learning conditions.”

“We are delighted that both BMBC and BA are taking the issue of teacher workload seriously and that they are engaging in productive talks to look at developing a Workload Charter specifically for Barnsley. 75% of our members surveyed said they were more likely to work in a school that had the charter and we want to make Barnsley schools the employer of choice for teachers.  We are looking forward to the Workload Steering group meeting on Friday 24th March and discussing exactly how a Barnsley Workload Charter would operate.”

Councillor Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson – People (Achieving Potential) said;

“There has been a radical change in Barnsley education over the last few years. The investment in our young people and their learning environment has seen results and standards rocketing and record-breaking achievements year on year. It isn’t just about students though, teachers and school staff are a vital part of our ambition. We want Barnsley to be a great place to learn and a great place to teach. Addressing the key issues for teachers, like workloads, in an innovative way is something we should all be signing up to.”

Michael Dugher MP, Barnsley East, said:

“Teaching is an incredibly challenging and demanding role. Those who enter the profession face a lot of pressure both in and out of the workplace. It is deeply troubling that 80% of NUT members in Barnsley have suggested they are considering leaving the profession.

 “Along with disproportionate cuts to schools budgets, which I will continue to fight against, extra pressures on teachers as a result of increased workloads presents a threat to the quality of our children’s education.

 “I am glad that positive steps are being taken in Barnsley to look at how we might best relieve these pressures. It is vital that we show our support to teachers so that they can strike a proper work-life balance and our children can receive the best possible education.”

Dan Jarvis MP, Barnsley Central, said:

“Every year I visit schools across Barnsley and see first-hand the commitment and dedication of our teachers. I am always inspired by the enthusiasm, creativity and drive which they display, raising students’ aspirations and helping them to succeed.

“I am deeply concerned that teachers are being driven out of the profession due to their excessive workloads and I welcome the creation of a Barnsley Workload Charter for schools.

“We must make sure teachers feel valued for the incredible work that they do, and that the rise in standards that we have seen in Barnsley in recent years is not at the expense of teachers’ health and wellbeing.”

Angela Smith MP, Penistone & Stocksbridge, said:

“As a former college teacher I fully appreciate how difficult and stressful the profession can be. Given what seems to be the low priority this government is giving to teachers and teaching it is not surprising so many are considering leaving the profession.

It is therefore pleasing to hear of the good work being carried out in Barnsley to mitigate many of the pressures being faced by teachers, which will help with retention. If we really care about future generations we need to make sure they get the best possible start in life and to do that it is vital we have dedicated and well qualified teachers, this program will help in maintaining those standards.”


For further comment please contact:
Nicola Fitzpatrick Barnsley NUT Division Secretary 07838067546


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