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Unhappy teachers are keen to quit

News | Published:

MORE than two-thirds of Guernsey teachers who responded to a survey say they have seriously considered leaving their job in the last year and more than half have considered leaving teaching altogether.

Chris Keates, the acting general secretary of the NASUWT. (26338898)

The survey, carried out by NASUWT - The Teachers’ Union, found a significant decline in teachers’ morale and job satisfaction, along with widespread concern about the States’ plans for education.

It also found that over three-quarters of teachers do not agree with the current plans for school transformation, with more than four out of five disagreeing with one school on two sites. This follows concerns about the new model from National Education Union members.

The top five concerns identified by NASUWT teachers on school transformation were potential overcrowding (64%), concerns around traffic and buses (63%), the lack of outside space (59%), the lack of social space for pupils (52%) and the lack of clarity around the assimilation process for staff (50%).

Acting general secretary of the NASUWT, Chris Keates, said it was clear members have significant concerns about the school transformation plan and their working conditions in general.

‘The NASUWT has been clear that the proposals should represent the best for Guernsey’s teachers and pupils and must not represent a worsening of the educational environment.’

The number of teachers who thought the States did not have the right approach to improving education stood at 88%, compared to 61% in 2016. Some 59% said their job satisfaction had declined in the last 12 months, an increase from 46% of teachers who reported this in the NASUWT’s previous survey in 2016.

The survey showed that 69% had thought seriously about leaving their job in the last 12 months, up from 64% in 2016, while 55% had seriously considered leaving teaching – a figure broadly similar. Additionally, 40% stated that they had seriously considered leaving the island for another teaching job.

Some 82% said their workload had either increased or significantly increased over the last year and the survey found a drop in those saying they felt valued, respected and resourced to do their job effectively.

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She was pleased the Education committee had responded positively to the survey’s findings, rather than seeking to dispute them

‘The NASUWT remains concerned, however, that on the issue of the school transformation plans, the committee is not willing to look again at the footprint of buildings, which is the root cause of many of members’ concerns,’ she said.

‘Although the committee has stated that many of the concerns can be effectively managed without detriment to pupils or teachers, the NASUWT remains to be fully convinced of this.’

The union will engage with Education officials to try and address the concerns, however, Ms Keates said the committee should be in no doubt that the NASUWT will ‘do everything necessary’ to represent its members’ interests.

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‘On the wider morale and job satisfaction issues, the committee should be deeply concerned that the results show a significant worsening of perceptions that teachers hold about Guernsey’s education system. Of particular concern is the sharp drop in teachers reporting that they have the resources to teach effectively.

‘The committee needs to address these issues urgently, and bear in mind that despite the major upheavals that are currently under way, the day-to-day business of educating children continues and this must be fully supported,’ she said.

Education, Sport & Culture has been contacted for comment and is formulating a response.

Only 7% of teachers who responded to The Teachers' Union survey thought the States had the right approach. Read more here.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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