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Review of the Return to School Survey Responses

A big thank you to everyone who completed the survey.  What comes through clearly in the responses (of which there were just over 350) is a real sense of anxiety around the cumulative effect of incremental increases in workload since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.  See below for some examples provided in the survey:

  • Setting work for students who are required to self-isolate
  • Setting cover work
  • Covering lessons
  • Keeping on-top of work whilst self-isolating
  • Marking more work to help support TAG judgements
  • Dealing with declining standards of behaviour
  • Managing student (and parent) anxieties

The headline, unsurprisingly, is that teachers and support staff are required to do more, but haven’t been given much in terms of additional time or resources.  And that’s stressful and exhausting in equal measure.  In connection to this, a comment left at the end of the survey from an ECT struck me: ‘I don’t see teaching as a sustainable career long-term.’  It’s that sort of sentiment – at least in my opinion – that doesn’t get taken seriously enough by the Department for Education and there’s certainly been an absence of good quality journalism on the subject of burnout.

The last bit I’ll quickly say before I sign-off is about the prospect of a return to remote learning…  In contrast to headlines in the media about ‘lazy’ teachers, the responses indicate that nobody wants it to happen.  So, fingers firmly crossed.

Take care folks and all the very best for next week and beyond.  You obviously care deeply about those around you and those in your school communities.  And, for me, that’s the signal amidst the noise: we’re doing a great job in hugely challenging circumstances.  It’s easy to lose sight of that at times, but it’s crucial that we remember it right now as we prepare to return.

Thanks for reading –