Teachers in Wales sound alarm over damaging stress from school inspections
Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union have voiced concerns about increasing stress and workload for teachers due to school inspections carried out by Estyn, the education inspectorate for Wales. They warn that teachers’ mental and physical health is at risk.
The NASUWT Cymru Annual Conference, held at the St George Hotel in Llandudno this weekend, saw delegates discuss additional pressures brought about by the schools’ middle-tier system, which includes the inspection body.
In a call for substantial change, conference delegates proposed abolishing the Consortia and negotiating with the Welsh Government to address the rising stress on teachers and agreeing on practical strategies to alleviate it.
NASUWT General Secretary, Dr Patrick Roach, stated that while teachers do not oppose public accountability for their work, the execution needs to be collaborative and constructive.
He suggested that the current Estyn inspections system forces teachers to prioritise inspection requirements over their students’ needs.
Dr Roach also challenged the Welsh Government, saying, “If it is unwilling or unable to take necessary actions to address the harmful impact of school inspections, monitoring and accountability on the workload, health and wellbeing of classroom teachers, we won’t hesitate to do so.”
Further remarks came from NASUWT National Official for Wales, Neil Butler.
He highlighted that despite the Education Minister’s pledge to reduce workload following trade unions’ industrial action ballots in January, mock inspections by the education consortia continue.
“The NASUWT is ready to continue negotiations, but a comprehensive set of measures needs to be in place by September,” he added.
The conference applauded the “patient and measured” approach of NASUWT in its negotiations with the Welsh Government under the ‘Better Deal for Teachers’ campaign.
Delegates concluded by urging NASUWT Cymru to keep lobbying the Welsh Government to abolish the Consortia, to recognise the link between Estyn, regional consortia and teacher stress, and to find practical solutions to reduce this stress. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com