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Eighty three per cent of teachers in Jersey are satisfied with their roles and the majority say that “interactions and relationships with pupils” is the aspect of the role they like the most, a recent staff survey has revealed.

The Jersey Teachers’ Survey was sent to around 1,000 teachers to complete from September 2017 and had an overall response rate of 49 per cent.

Teachers from all schools were asked to take part and answer questions in the anonymous survey.
The last survey was published in 2016 and since then teachers have also taken part in the whole government, OneVoice survey, which was commissioned earlier this year.

The Teachers’ Survey, published today, was carried out by the former Education Department, before merging with the Children, Young People, Education and Skills department, reveals that 83 per cent of teachers are satisfied with their roles.

Many teachers raised issues about their workload, classroom practice and student behaviour.

Long working hours, the pressure to achieve results, too much paperwork and too much marking, in an extremely short time to complete the curriculum, are just some of the issues expressed by teachers in this survey.

The level of verbal abuse by pupils to teachers has increased by ten per cent since the last survey and 40 percent said administrative work such as photocopying, paperwork and filling out risk assessment emails were taking up too much time.

Action has already been taken to address workload issues with a new guidance document issued to all schools.

The new “Marking and Planning, Guidance for Jersey Teachers 2018”, was developed by officials from the Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills, the National Education Union, National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers and the Jersey Association of Head Teachers.

Seán O’Regan, Group Director of Education at CYPES, which has published the new document said: “Firstly we would like to thank the teachers who took the time to answer this survey. We are pleased to see a large proportion of teachers say that they are satisfied with their role but there are a number of concerns expressed, which we are heeding and have already started to address.
“We know that inconsistencies in approach to marking, planning and some other tasks are having an impact on teachers’ work-life balance. So in the interests of our students and our staff, we are determined that this new guidance on Marking and Planning leads to change. We have worked with teachers themselves and the unions to actively look at measures to alleviate workload pressures. To ensure working conditions are the best possible, we have collaborated with the teaching unions in Jersey to identify the specific pressures facing teachers. As well as ongoing discussions, this survey gives us an up-to-date view from the classroom.”

Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois added: “The Teachers’ Survey highlights a number of areas of concern and where improvements need to and should be made. Mental health and wellbeing is high on our agenda and a large number of our teachers want social and emotional wellbeing in the workplace addressed. We will work with them to improve teacher wellbeing. I welcome this new Marking and Planning guidance document and wish to thank all of the teachers who took part in this survey and who gave an honest account of their work-life and the challenges they face. It helps us to understand how the teaching profession is feeling about working in Jersey at this time.”

Some of the headline figures in the Teachers’ Survey include:

  • Four-fifths of teachers reported feeling valued and respected as a professional by their colleagues. However lower proportions felt valued and respected by the wider community.
  • Stress, quality of sleep and fatigue were all indicated by teachers as affecting their ability to perform daily work tasks
  • The majority say that “interactions and relationships with pupils” is the aspect of the role they like the most
  • 88% of teachers identified a pupil’s home life/parental guidance as a main cause of poor behaviour in their school
  • Half of teachers said “failing to bring the appropriate equipment to school” occurred daily or almost daily, while one in three teachers experienced “failure to comply with uniform policy” daily or almost daily
  • Eighty three per cent of teachers in Jersey are satisfied with their roles
  • 2 in 5 teachers reported being verbally abused by a pupil in the past year
  • Overall, two-thirds of teachers would recommend their school as a good place to work, while three-quarters would recommend their school to their friends as a place to send their children
  • Long working hours concerned over two-thirds of teachers
  • 9 out of 10 teachers report feeling confident and fully understanding their duties in implementing safeguarding policies
  • A greater proportion of teachers working in States non-fee paying schools were concerned about the pressure to achieve results
  • Two-thirds of teachers reported that good teaching practice was celebrated in their school
  • The number of teachers describing their general health as “Very good” dropped by 10 per cent compared to the 2015-2016 survey

States of Jersey Press Release.

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