Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

Teachers have ‘unrealistic workload’

Published

on

Stressed out: Are teachers overworked in Wales?

Stressed out: Are teachers overworked in Wales?

UK EDUCATION SECRETARY, Nicky Morgan, has set out an agenda aimed at helping teachers overcome what many believe, in and out of the profession, to be an unrealistic workload. The promise to reduce the overall burden on teachers was made this week at the Conservative Party Conference. Miss Morgan explained how parents did not want their children educated by stressed and overworked teachers. She referred to teachers as ‘heroes of the education system.’

She went on to say she would work with teachers unions and representatives to discuss problems with workload, assuring them she would treat them as the professionals they are. Her approach represents a stark contrast in style from former Minister, Michael Gove, whom she replaced, who had often struggled with a strained relationship with the teaching profession.

The Teachers’ Union, the NUT, has already threatened strike action unless the Education Secretary reduces teacher workloads in England. Now the question remains as to whether or not Wales will follow suit and help teachers to have more time to do the actual job of classroom teaching.

Shadow Education Secretary, AM Angela Burns, commented on the initiative and how it might impact upon Welsh teachers, saying: “I have the opportunity to visit schools all over Wales in both the primary and secondary sector and no matter how motivated or dedicated the teacher is, one of their greatest concerns is workload. And it’s seldom the teaching workload but rather the endless changes, guidance, and policy statements constantly being issued by the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay. The (Welsh) Government must stop trying to micromanage teachers and teaching practices.

We need to give the teaching professionals time and space to do their job. That will result in better standards, more individualised teaching and a professional workforce that feels valued and able to deliver for pupils and parents. I applaud the moves being made by the Secretary of State in England and I hope our Education Minister pays heed.” Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Education Minister, Mid and West Assembly Member Simon Thomas said: “Having excellent teachers and heads sitting before a computer filling in forms or ticking boxes, or sweating over reports at home, is a waste of their talent and commitment. I want to see them freed up to teach at the whiteboard face as much as possible.

That’s why I’m proposing to set up a task-force to work with teaching unions to cut unnecessary bureaucracy. We need to nurture best practice, and teachers need freedom to do that. Unions tell us that often, teachers get tangled in red tape and are stopped from getting on with the job in hand. We want to let excellent teachers teach.” The Herald asked the Welsh Labour Government for a comment but did not get a response, however, speaking on behalf of the Labour Party, Delyth Evans, Parliamentary candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said: “Teachers work very hard and the pressures on them are increasing. Moves to reduce teachers’ workloads would be a good thing because we want to make sure our best teachers stay in the profession.

The focus must continue to be on supporting teachers and raising standards in all our schools so that parents can feel confident their children are getting the best possible education all the way through school.” The Herald spoke exclusively with local Pembrokeshire teacher, Sophie Palmer, who said: “Teachers have always planned and marked and kept assessment records. They expect to co-ordinate areas of learning, which involves writing policy documents, monitoring teaching and learning, writing reports etc. It’s what teachers sign up for.

There is a limit to this though and currently, this workload is utterly unaudited and unrealistic. It would be a very welcome change for teachers to be given the freedom and trust, that they used to be granted by past governments, in order to plan enriched and motivating lessons, using government guidelines that are not, to put it bluntly, outrageously prescriptive and unrealistic.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Education

Teacher’s gruelling challenge to help visually impaired child

Published

on

TEACHER Sion Jenkins is running 100 laps around a famous Pembrokeshire landmark to raise money to help a visually impaired child in his class.

He is aiming to raise £2,000 on crowd funder platform Go Fund Me by doing laps of Carew Castle and Mill in just 24 hours, about one hundred miles in total.

Sion said: “I decided that I wanted to raise money to help purchase a trike/adapted bike to help a visually impaired child in my class.

“Due to his sight, he isn’t able to ride a bike – and is desperate to gain some independence/confidence and ride a bike like every other child.

“On the back of a challenge set by school, to complete the ‘100 challenge’ as a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, I decided to tie the two together and have a go at completing this gruelling challenge.

“100 laps of Carew Castle and Mill will total just under 100 miles – in less than 24 hours.”

If you would like to contribute to this epic challenge this is the link:

https://uk.gofundme.com/f/carew-mill-100-laps-in-24-hours?

Continue Reading

Education

Schools partnership promotes the benefits of outdoor learning

Published

on

OUTDOOR learning across the county has received a welcome boost over the past 12 months as a result of additional funding secured by the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools (PODS) project, which has covered the cost of a Co-ordinator working directly with schools.

Thanks to financial backing from the People’s Postcode Local Trust and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, the PODS Co-ordinator has been able to help with the delivery of high quality, curriculum-linked learning experiences in school grounds and local outdoor spaces.

Part of the Co-ordinator’s role is also to bring together local and national organisations, including Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Discovery team, teachers and head teachers. Pooling their diverse knowledge and expertise, the partnership seeks to share good practice and promote the benefits of taking lessons outdoors.

Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools Co-ordinator Bryony Rees said: “Last summer, the Welsh Government recognised the importance of outdoor learning in the post-lockdown return to school. We have been working hard to support this by giving children and teachers increased opportunities to take their learning outdoors.

“We have already engaged with a number of schools across Pembrokeshire and produced some live webinars. Supporting resources for these can be found on HWB. This has made it possible to reach out to even more schools with practical information, inspiration and advice on delivering outdoor learning programmes.

“Several schools have taken the opportunity to develop their school grounds to support outdoor learning and more recently, Neyland Community School has introduced outdoor lessons every Friday.”

During the most recent lockdown, work has continued online and the PODS website has been developed to provide teachers with some learning resources. Outdoor learning ideas and inspiration for teachers and parents are also shared on the PODS Facebook page (Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools) and on Twitter @PembsOutdoorSch.

Continue Reading

Education

Education announcement welcomed by Pembrokeshire County Council

Published

on

THE LOCAL AUTHORITY has said that it welcomes the Welsh Government’s announcement today (Friday, 29th January) that schools will be the first to reopen when Wales’ current lockdown restrictions are lifted.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that the ‘alert level four’ restrictions will remain in Wales for three more weeks but following that period, there would be a ‘phased and flexible back-to-school approach if coronavirus cases continue to fall’.

He said primary school children would be the first to return, if the public health situation continues to improve, and that students studying vocational qualifications would also be among those prioritised for the phased return to colleges.

Mr Drakeford said: “We’ve seen a really welcome fall in cases of the virus all over Wales, but they are still too high and the NHS continues to be under intense pressure.

“We need to keep the lockdown restrictions in place for a little while longer to help us bring rates of the virus down further. If we can do this, we will create the headroom we need to get children back to school after half term – starting with the youngest at primary schools.

“We will work with teachers, colleges, local authorities to plan for the safe return of children to school over the next couple of weeks and keep parents updated.”

Pembrokeshire’s Director of Education, Steven Richards-Downes, will be meeting virtually with Welsh Government ministers today together with other Education Directors.

Mr Richards-Downes said: “We welcome the Welsh Government’s statement that schools will be the first to reopen, whenever that may be.

“We will continue to work directly with unions, headteachers, governing bodies and other Council services to ensure that schools are Covid-safe when they are re-opened.

“Distance learning will continue for now and parents should contact their schools directly if they have any queries regarding this.”

He added: “Any parent experiencing difficulties with digital exclusion should contact their school directly.

Free school meals payments will continue to be paid to families who have applied for them, as planned. The next payments will be made on Thursday, 4th February.

Continue Reading
News8 hours ago

Judith Rhead murder investigation – Detectives given more time to question suspect

POLICE have been given more time to question a 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder. The man has been...

News2 days ago

Police investigate alleged rape of a child

DYFED-POWYS POLICE have confirmed that a 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of raping a child in the south...

News2 days ago

Police confirm murder investigation underway following Judith Rhead’s death

THE POLICE have confirmed that the death of a woman, who died in Pembroke Dock on Saturday, is being treated...

News3 days ago

Deaths could be linked to salmonella in SFC chicken’s boneless buckets

THE FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY has issued an urgent warning about a chicken product sold in food stores across Wales. The...

News4 days ago

Pembroke Dock death being treated as suspicious, police confirm

POLICE  in Pembroke Dock are continuing to investigate the death of a woman in Market Street. A spokesman from Dyfed-Powys...

News4 days ago

Pembroke Dock: Police forensics team investigating death of woman in Market Street

THERE is a police presence in Pembroke Dock this evening as police, and forensics officers investigate the sudden death of...

News5 days ago

Stricken LPG tanker off Pembrokeshire coast rescued by super-tug ‘Bever’

AN LPG tanker which lost her engines and was adrift off the coast of Pembrokeshire is now under tow thanks...

News5 days ago

LPG tanker awaiting emergency rescue tug off the coast of Pembrokeshire

A LIBERIAN registered LPG tanker is awaiting rescue off the Pembrokeshire coast after developing engine trouble, The Herald can confirm....

News6 days ago

At least three more weeks of lockdown, First Minister confirms

FIRST MINISTER Mark Drakeford said he hopes the country has entered the last three weeks of the “stay-at-home” requirement. Mr...

News6 days ago

Urgent appeal over missing Milford Haven man

POLICE in Milford Haven are appealing for information to help find missing man Richard Golding. The 36-year-old was last seen...

Popular This Week