Teaching profession under a lot of stress

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Re your article in The Star on Thursday, March 20, entitled “MP supports action against teachers’ high workload”. Why, might I ask, was this particularly singled out to be only happening in Barnsley?

I have both a daughter, (an assistant head teacher), and a daughter-in-law, (deputy head teacher), at primary schools in Rotherham. Their workload is exhausting. Not only are they full-time class teachers but their paperwork out of school hours is phenomenal. Neither of them arrives home from work until around 6pm each evening and are in school from 8am.

My daughter has two small children, aged five and seven, and is a very admirable mother. I simply wonder where she gains the stamina to do her job. She arrives home from school, feeds, baths and listens to them read before putting them to bed. When they are in bed out comes her laptop and she works on it planning lessons and organising staff until she drops into bed between 11.30pm and midnight.

My daughter-in-law, who is child-free, walks in from school around 5.30pm, has a cup of tea and opens up her laptop to continue her school work of planning lessons/staff and sending emails to her colleagues, etc. and does this until she retires to bed. She works non-stop through the weekend until it’s time for school on Monday.

They have very little life other than an annual holiday during the six-week summer holidays, more often than not only taking a week. They work all through the six- week holidays apart from that, in and out of school, cleaning classrooms and dressing/preparing them for the new term.

They are both excellent teachers, know, help and encourage their pupils without any shadow of a doubt, both having been in the job well over 10 years. Their salaries are what I would call average compared with other public servant employees.

The whole teaching profession is under enormous stress, particularly with the cutbacks since the last budget.

How can standards be upheld with such drastic cuts and no more than an average salary?

Teachers need encouragement or salary increases to keep them in the job. They also need some respect from the Government. It’s not just Barnsley that needs a workload charter but the country as a whole.

If not, society must be prepared for teachers leaving the profession as a whole.

May I suggest that all our MPs and the teaching unions up and down the country take the Government to task and support their members, otherwise our children will not receive the education they deserve.

Ann Dawson

by email