Home news Teacher: We’re leaving as hours are too long and hard

Teacher: We’re leaving as hours are too long and hard

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Ian Trice Picture Nicola Driscoll-Davies

A FORMER teacher has warned staff are leaving the profession because the workload and hours are too demanding.

Ian Trice, 50, now a library officer, reluctantly quit teaching after 22 years in the profession.

Mr Trice adored teaching primary school children, and left his Year 6 position at Elm Grove Primary in Brighton.

He said: “Teaching is one of the most fantastic jobs, working with young children and seeing them develop.

“Not many jobs are that fulfilling, and I did feel really fortunate I was able to have had a positive impact on young children’s lives while they grow up.”

Mr Trice said he worked a 70-hour week, from 7.30am until 7pm, and found himself working evenings and weekends.

He said: “You go into the profession expecting to work hard but the recent changes to education made my workload unmanageable, and it took over my life.”

Mr Trice believes teachers’ morale is very low and is aware of eight teachers who have quit the profession in Brighton this year.

The 2016 government Teacher Workload Survey reported that more than three-quarters of respondents in England were dissatisfied with the number of hours they usually worked, and showed an increase from 17 percent to 22 percent in the last year of teachers considering leaving the profession.

The report stated attitudes to workloads within schools showed 93 percent of teachers believe their workload was at least a fairly serious problem, while 52 percent of teachers surveyed said this was a very serious problem.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “An intolerably high workload and successive cuts in real terms pay are the main reasons behind so many good teachers leaving the profession.

“Less than half, 48 percent, of secondary school teachers in England have more than ten years’ experience, as a consequence we now have a teacher recruitment and retention crisis with recruitment targets not being met and older teachers not being replaced when they leave.”

Mr Trice cites the reduction of school budgets for making his job impossible. He said: “One of the worst changes to education happened when the local authorities were dismantled and schools lost the essential funding and support services. This had a big impact upon children, in a short amount of time we lost our support staff, including educational psychologists, individual and special needs staff, and expertise advice from leading teachers.”

One significant reason Mr Trice quit his beloved profession was due to recent curriculum changes.

He said: “I valued putting the children first, and at the heart of what you do, and you build an experience for those children to develop as much as they can and in as many contexts as they can.

“The priority in schools now is core subjects, which means art and music is withering, and so a large part of my job went from teaching, to coaching for tests. Most teacher training courses no longer provide humanities training, as the curriculum is now based on core subjects, and so sadly children are no longer being provided with a variety of experiences.”


Source: The Argus