In a recent article for the Times Educational Supplement, Dr Bousted explained how she is increasingly hearing stories about teachers found ‘crying on the kitchen floor’ by their spouses, or being silenced by the stories of teachers ordered to ‘stop crying’ in the staffroom. She went on to explain how ‘a newly qualified teacher, asking for help to deal with an impossible workload which took up every evening until 11pm and all of the weekend, was told by her line manager 'that's the way it is in teaching.”
Stories like these are all too common in the teaching world, but Dr Bousted has called for head teachers to provide better support for their staff and school ministers have agreed to reduce unnecessary workload. Dr Bousted is not the only one calling for improved support systems and more sensible workloads for teachers. As Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, explains ‘It is essential that we pay attention to the well-being of staff. That's a shared responsibility between colleagues of the same level, middle leaders, senior leaders and governors, who ultimately carry the duty of care.’
Despite this worrying trend, teaching remains an extremely popular career and the highest numbers of people are choosing to get into teaching since 2008. Over the next three years the nation will need more than 160,000 more teachers so now is the time to ensure teachers get the support they need if we are to attract so many more young people into the industry. As Dr Bousted describes ‘If our education system is to meet this immense challenge, it needs to value its teachers as its most precious resource and treat them accordingly’. A Department for Education spokesman also released a statement explaining how ‘we want to ensure teachers can focus on what they do best - teaching and inspiring young people - not needless bureaucracy and paperwork.’
Concerns over the treatment of teachers have been growing since April 2014 when a poll showed that more than a third of the school and college staff have seen a rise in mental health issues over the previous two years. But it is obvious that over-worked teachers is still and issue.
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