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”.

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