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Review of teachers’ workloads and pay

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REDUCING teachers’ workloads and ensuring equal pay systems across different schools are key areas to be discussed as part of a government review of education, a union official has said.

Marina Mauger

Following months of dispute, the Island’s two major teaching unions – the NASUWT and NEU – both agreed to a revised pay deal and package for 2018 to 2020 earlier in the summer.

As part of the deal, it was agreed that a review of the education system would be undertaken.

NASUWT Jersey representative Marina Mauger said that the union was happy to sign up to the process, which is due to start imminently, and that a key area of focus would be reducing the burden on teachers, in particular their increased administration work.

‘Under this reform review, we have a wide scope which allows us to take a step back and look at everything across the board,’ she said. ‘It was part of the dispute resolution that we would sign up to this review. We were signing up to something we wanted for a long time.’

She added: ‘A lot of the review will be about reducing workload. Teachers have so much more work to do these days, such as inputting data like pupil absences and academic-performance predicted grades.

‘A lot of the time, teachers end up doing a job which is an administrator’s role. It is demeaning for them because they are being asked to do something other than teaching and learning, which is what they are meant to do.’

Mrs Mauger said that the review would also cover the area of supplementary allowances – an area that the union raised concerns about before the pay dispute was resolved.

‘We have a system at the moment of supplementary allowances, which are additional management responsibilities that teachers are paid for, such as head of year or subject leader,’ she said.

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‘We talk a lot about equal pay for equal value, but we get teachers in different schools who are on different supplementary allowance pay bands for doing the same role. That can be a few thousand pounds a year difference for doing the same job. We are really going to focus on that. It’s really bad for morale and it doesn’t fit in with the States ethos of equal pay for equal value.’

Mrs Mauger said that the creation of new qualifications for senior teaching assistants would also be considered.

She added that she did not expect to see further industrial action on the part of teachers in the near future but felt that the recent events had highlighted to Islanders the discontent in the profession.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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