Poor pay a driver of dissatisfaction, says teaching union

A Government report reveals that teachers and school leaders are working longer hours, for less pay and have less job satisfaction than their OECD counterparts.


Peter Shreeve, joint local secretary of the NEU (National Education Union) shares this latest news. Ed

The latest OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) – a barometer of what teachers from up to 48 different countries think about their jobs was released this week.

Yet more demoralising findings confirming that the Government is failing our teachers and school leaders who are working longer hours, for less pay and have less job satisfaction than their OECD counterparts, despite Government efforts aimed at reducing it.

How the UK compares
Talis is a 225 page comprehensive report and touches on so much.  It concludes England’s

  • secondary head teachers are more likely to report a shortage of teachers is hampering quality teaching (38%) than other OECD head teachers (21%).
  • teachers spend on average one hour per week less than their OECD counterparts on teaching, but almost seven hours a week more on non-teaching tasks. 
  • teachers are younger (averaging 39 years-old), their OECD counterparts (averaging 44 years).  They have less experience and feel less prepared in relation to subject knowledge and pedagogy when compared with those in other OECD countries. Yet, far too often our teachers feel unable to access relevant and personalised CPD (Continuing Professional Development) due to demanding work schedules, the general high cost of training and additional costs of attending training on the mainland.

Failed to tackle the underlying workload burdens
Talis findings confirm that steps taken by the Government in recent years have failed to tackle the underlying workload burdens on England’s teachers and school leaders.

The issues highlighted by Talis – staff shortages, increased non-teaching tasks and staff feeling less prepared are intertwined. 

We know,

  • official figures show far too many newly qualified teachers (NQTs) fail to remain teaching in the short and medium-term.
  • in a recent NEU survey of more than 8,000 staff, more than a quarter (26%) of those with less than five years’ experience said they planned to quit by 2024.
  • when asked why they would be leaving, workload and the accountability regime were the main reasons cited.

Island focus
The Isle of Wight is not immune from this.  We are also aware that poor pay is another driver of dissatisfaction and a problem for recruitment and retention.

Local vacancies are often advertised at less than the full range of pay scales. 

Affecting support staff too
Although Talis only references teaching staff, this is also an issue for support staff, who are often in the frontline of restructures and cuts. 

Far too often, they not only have their pay cut, but also their working hours.

Image: Ryan Stanton under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 24th June, 2019 7:58am


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Filed under: Education, Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Youth

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1 Comment on "Poor pay a driver of dissatisfaction, says teaching union"

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My parents were both teachers and one of my brothers teaches secondary school in Canada. I was shocked at the difference in the UK teacher wage compared to the what they earn in Canada.


I wonder if that has anything to do with global education rankings?