Over 300 teachers considered quitting in last 12 months

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ALMOST 60% of teachers have considered quitting their jobs in the last 12 months due to workload, stress and feeling undervalued, a report has found.

The online 2021/22 teachers survey, which was answered by more than 500 employees, revealed that the number of teaching staff who have considered leaving their role is at its highest since the survey started seven years ago.

It also found that one in two teachers had been verbally abused by a pupil in the last year.

The survey has run every two years since 2015 and offers teachers and lecturers the chance to share their experiences and opinions including the effect on schooling as a result of Covid-19 restrictions which has caused on-going disruption to education since 2019.

More than 300 respondents said they had considered quitting their job in the last 12 months – the main reasons being workload, stress and feeling unsupported or undervalued. Less than half of respondents felt they were well paid for what they do.

Teachers reported working on average 53 hours in the last complete week, while half of respondents said they had been verbally abused by a pupil in the last year.

The percentage of teachers who had experienced physical attacks by a pupil has almost doubled in recent years rising from 7% and 8% in 2015 and 2017 to 13% and 14% in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

Teachers were also heavily impacted by Covid-19. The report found that 60% felt that Covid-19 had negatively influenced their work and life balance, while 54% reported often feeling stressed or anxious since the start of the pandemic and 78% were worried about the impact of Covid-19 on learning outcomes.

The survey also revealed the extent to which Covid-19 had impacted pupil wellbeing. Over 400 teachers said they had noticed an increase in stress, anxiety and panic attacks amongst pupils. Almost 60% noticed an increase in relationship and friendship problems amongst students.

Seán O’Regan, group director of Education, said: ‘I am proud that our teachers, senior leaders and support staff have risen so well to the many challenges posed by Covid-19. But from speaking to them, I also know that this has taken a toll on their well-being and mental health.’

He added: ‘Covid challenges are still with us, but as we continue to move out of the crisis phase of the pandemic, we have already started to plan our responses to our teachers’ concerns, both for themselves and for Jersey’s children and young people. We are doing this through working with school leaders, teachers’ unions and professional associations, and officers across the government.’

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