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Over two thirds of Guernsey teachers who responded to a survey by NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union say they have seriously considered leaving their job in the last year and over half have considered leaving teaching altogether.

The survey has found a significant decline in teachers’ morale and job satisfaction, along with widespread concern about the States’ plans for education.

  • Over three quarters of teachers in Guernsey do not agree with the current plans for school transformation, with more than four in five disagreeing with the current plans for one school on two sites;
  • The top five concerns identified by teachers on the plans for school transformation were potential overcrowding (64%), concerns around traffic and buses (63%), the lack of outside space (59%), the lack of social space for pupils (52%) and the lack of clarity around the assimilation process for staff (50%);
  • Nearly six in ten (59%) said their job satisfaction had declined in the last 12 months, an increase from 46% of teachers who reported this in the NASUWT’s previous survey of Guernsey members in 2016;
  • Over two thirds (69%) said they had seriously thought about leaving their job in the last 12 months, up from 64% in 2016, whilst over half (55%) had seriously considered leaving teaching altogether, which is broadly similar to 2016. Additionally, 40% stated that they had seriously considered leaving the island for another teaching job;
  • 82% said their workload had either increased or significantly increased over the last 12 months. The survey found a drop in the number of teachers saying they felt valued, respected and resourced to do their job effectively;
  • 88% thought the States did not have the right approach to improving education, compared to 61% in 2016.
Ms Chris Keates, General Secretary (Acting) of the NASUWT, said:

“It is clear that NASUWT members have significant concerns about the school transformation plan and their working conditions in general.

“The NASUWT has been clear that the proposals should represent the best for Guernsey’s teachers and pupils and must not represent a worsening of the educational environment.

“The NASUWT is pleased that the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture has responded positively to the survey findings, rather than seeking to dispute them

“The NASUWT remains concerned, however, that on the issue of the school transformation plans, the Committee is not willing to look again at the footprint of buildings, which is the root cause of many of the NASUWT’s members concerns. Although the Committee has stated that many of the concerns can be effectively managed without detriment to pupils or teachers, the NASUWT remains to be fully convinced of this.

“The NASUWT will engage with the committee to seek to address the concerns that members have raised, however, the Committee should be in no doubt that the NASUWT will do everything necessary to represent its members’ interests.

“On the wider morale and job satisfaction issues, the Committee should be deeply concerned that the results show a significant worsening of perceptions that teachers hold about Guernsey’s education system.

“Of particular concern is the sharp drop in teachers reporting that they have the resources to teach effectively.

“The committee needs to address these issues urgently, and bear in mind that despite the major upheavals that are currently underway, the day-to-day business of educating children continues and this must be fully supported.”

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