“Long hours, endless admin and angry parents – why schools just can’t get the teachers” is the headline from a recent Guardian article. Teachers are, according to recent reports and findings, leaving the profession in droves.
The main concern seems to be the increased workload which was brought about partly by New Labour Policies but significantly by the last Education Minister Michael Gove. It was difficult to miss the media coverage of teacher protests and the national dismay felt within the profession at changes to curriculum, examinations, inspection and paperwork; not to mention pay.
“At the last count, the number of temporarily filled teacher posts stood at 3,210, up from 2,300 the year before. The number of teachers working without a formal teaching qualification – which, let’s not forget, is allowed in academies and free schools – was just over 20,000, up from 16,600. The government’s own research shows that in the 12 months to November 2014, the state sector lost nearly 50,000 teachers – representing the highest rate of exit for 10 years and an increase of more than 25% over five years. More sobering still, 100,000 qualified teachers have opted never to work in a classroom at all.”- The Guardian
It isn’t only teachers new to the profession who appear quickly turned off by the high demands of classroom teaching:
“A recent survey by the National Association of Headteachers found that 59% of schools advertising for staff had “struggled” to recruit, and 20% had failed completely…Two weeks ago, the education charity the Future Leaders Trust added to the angst surrounding teaching with a report warning that schools were finding it increasingly hard to recruit headteachers, and that 28% of current heads had told one survey they were planning to leave their jobs within five years.”- The Guardian
The BBC has said “A "national crisis” in teacher numbers is looming, six unions representing teachers and school leaders in England and Wales have warned.”
"Teachers need a pay rise," they urge, in a joint statement to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), which sets their pay.”- BBC News
One of the most prevalent issues discouraging teachers is their workload. Their work day increasingly encroaches into their non-professional lives limiting their private time.
The other, and possibly more urgent issue, is lack of material support in terms of pay and resources in school. The masses of budget cuts and pay rise limits means teachers are worn down by a lack of financial and emotional support.
My Learning UK Ltd seeks to lessen the load on teachers by transferring some of their assessment and behaviour management needs onto the VLE. Online they can monitor students and build reports using imported data and spend a lot less time preparing these themselves.
The VLE also allows assessments to be uploaded, marked and returned with relatively little hassle for the teacher. Resources can be shared and help with planning provided, allowing schools to act as support communities for their staff and students alike.
Blogs and forums can be set up so that teachers can share their concerns within school, and even discuss ways to approach these issues which seem to be shaking the national education system to its core. Our language capabilities also mean that teaching can be more effectively delivered in culturally diverse classroom.
We know this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of many of the problems out there facing teachers right now, however we are eager to support you in whatever way we can!