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Concerns for the wellbeing of teachers

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THE wellbeing of teaching staff in Guernsey is causing concern as morale and job satisfaction have fallen sharply since 2016.

The wellbeing of teaching staff in Guernsey is causing concern as morale and job satisfaction have fallen sharply since 2016. Picture by Dave Thompson/PA Wire. (27219075)

Recent research in the UK has revealed that one in 20 teachers is reporting mental health problems which last more than a year.

The study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, urged the government to monitor the issue.

Teaching union NASUWT surveyed its members in Guernsey at the end of last year.

The survey aimed to examine job satisfaction, workload, the school transformation project, and the impact of education policies.

Fewer than half of teachers felt their wellbeing is viewed as important, at just 48.2%.

‘While we didn’t ask any questions explicitly about mental health we did ask about teachers’ overall morale and job satisfaction, all of which have fallen since the last time we did a similar survey in 2016,’ the union spokesman said.

Some 42% of respondents reported satisfaction down from 60% in 2016.

‘The survey indicates increasingly poor morale across the teaching profession in Guernsey, which is clearly being exacerbated by concerns about the school transformation plan,’ the spokesman said.

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A significant number felt they had not been listened to.

‘As well as their concerns about the scope and details of the proposals, there is also anxiety and anger about the speed with which the plans are being enacted without their concerns being addressed,’ the NASUWT spokesman said.

‘This is having an impact on teachers’ wellbeing at a time when other pressures such as workload are also increasing.’

Some teachers have felt pressured to comply with education changes due to fears of losing their jobs.

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However, since finding these results more dialogue has opened between teachers, the union, and the Education Department.

‘Since we published the outcomes of the survey, the Education Department has attempted to consult with us on a more meaningful basis, however, many of the fundamental concerns relating to the transformation plans still remain unaddressed.’

‘While the situation is difficult on both sides, the teachers are found to be suffering significantly in response to the familiar structure of work being remoulded.

‘We believe it is vital that the proposals should represent the best for Guernsey’s teachers and pupils, and must not represent a worsening of the educational environment or else the issues highlighted in the survey of declining morale and job satisfaction will only increase,’ the spokesman said.

Emily Hubert

By Emily Hubert
News reporter

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