Workload and pensions top concerns in union polls


Eight in 10 teachers believe that the coalition government’s impact on education since the last election has been negative, according to a National Union of Teachers (NUT) poll.

At the same time, a separate study by the NASUWT has found that workload and pensions are the biggest concerns for a majority of teachers.

The NUT poll, carried out by YouGov, involved 826 teachers and also found that 74 per cent believe that morale within the profession has fallen in the last three-and-a-half years. Also, 63 per cent of teachers say that more than a fifth of their workload does not directly benefit children’s learning, while almost half report malnutrition or hunger affecting the ability of pupils to concentrate.

Just over half of teachers said they are less likely to stay in the profession as a result of changes to teachers’ pay and pensions, and 57 per cent are less likely to stay as a result of changes to teachers’ working conditions.

Meanwhile, the NASUWT poll of 501 teachers also found that just over half of teachers have “seriously considered” leaving their current job in the last 12 months, with 

47 per cent considering leaving the profession altogether. Teachers’ biggest concern was workload (79 per cent), followed by pay and pensions (66 per cent), changes in the curriculum (59 per cent), and school inspections (51 per cent). 

A majority of teachers (86 per cent) say that their workload has increased in the last 12 months.

Elsewhere, half of teachers say they have been forced to cut back on food as a result of the pay freeze and increases in pension contributions. Nearly a third (30 per cent) report having to increasingly rely on credit and overdrafts.


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