FURTHER STRIKE ACTION AT BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Shenley Academy and Sixth Form in Birmingham are taking further strike action on Thursday 11th July over adverse management practices, including marking policies which are contributing to excessive workload affecting the health and well-being of members.

Chris Keates (Ms), General Secretary (Acting) of the NASUWT, said:

“Teachers have a right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and to have working conditions which reflect their role as skilled professionals.

“NASUWT members are deeply disappointed that they have been forced again into taking strike action.

“Since the teachers last came out on strike, the NASUWT has worked hard to negotiate with the Employer over the issues of concern. Unfortunately, these issues remain unresolved.

“We urge the Employer to recognise the strength of feeling of teachers at school and to commit to working constructively with the NASUWT to resolve these issues swiftly.

“The working practices are not only unacceptable they also fail to respect teachers’ professionalism.

“The continuing intransigence of the school management is a further reflection of the lack of respect being shown to teachers and their concerns.”

Debbie Hayton, NASUWT National Executive Member for Birmingham, said:

“The NASUWT has been forced into taking this strike action as a result of the continued failure of the employer to address the deep concerns of members about the way in which they are being managed and a culture in the school which is adversely affecting their ability to do their best for the pupils they teach.

“A particular concern is the school’s enforced marking policy in which teachers have been made to attend sessions while school management supervise their marking. This disempowers and devalues teachers. These are highly skilled professionals who are being treated unacceptably.

“The NASUWT regrets any disruption caused by the strike action to pupils and parents, but this action could have been avoided if the employer had taken seriously our members’ concerns and taken effective action to address them.”

IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL STUDY LENDS WEIGHT TO THE NASUWT’S CONCERNS

Commenting on the findings of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2018 Teaching and Learning International Study (TALIS), published today, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“TALIS provides an important snapshot of the state of the teaching profession in England and more than 40 other education systems. While the results of a study of this type should always be treated carefully, it is clear that its findings lend further weight to the NASUWT’s concerns about the negative impact of current Government policy on teachers and headteachers.

“As in previous TALIS reports, a standout result is that teachers in England work longer hours than their colleagues in other education systems. In particular, teachers in England spend longer than their peers on marking, administration and preparation. This finding reflects the unequivocal outcomes of longitudinal research by the NASUWT which demonstrates that high workload remains teachers’ top concern about the quality of their working lives and is a key contributory factor in the deepening teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

“The NASUWT has also highlighted the impact of nearly a decade of suppressed pay on teacher supply and the morale of the workforce. It is, therefore, disappointing but not surprising that TALIS finds that teachers in England are increasingly dissatisfied with their pay and are acutely aware of how poorly it compares with that of other graduate professions.

“The barriers that teachers in England face to participating in high quality professional development and training are matters of longstanding concern. It is deeply troubling that TALIS observes that teachers in this country are more likely than teachers in other systems to report difficulties in accessing training, with many stating that work pressures result in them not having time to access important professional development opportunities.

“The TALIS study sets out some clear pointers to policymakers around the world on supporting the work that teachers and headteachers undertake with children and young people. The report calls for action to tackle teacher dissatisfaction, lack of recognition and burnout, while working with trade unions to enhance teachers’ pay, working conditions and training. Given the adverse consequences of current policy in this respect, these are aims that the Department of Education must adopt and achieve if it is to ensure that pupils in England can continue to benefit from a highly skilled, well-motivated teaching workforce”.