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The increasing use of social media applications such as WhatsApp and online learning tools is leading to greater harassment of teachers by parents, the NASUWT Northern Ireland Annual Conference will hear today.

As teachers and schools have embraced technology to facilitate online learning during the pandemic, there has been a big increase in parents using it to place unreasonable demands on them at all times of the day.

A motion being debated at the Conference will hear the learning tools have also given parents and guardians access to teachers and school leaders outside of working hours including at weekends.

This intrusion into educators’ personal time has seen a rise in inappropriate messages and demands being sent to members, members will hear.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary said: “Teachers have adapted to new ways of online working and embraced new tools out of necessity to help children while they were learning from home during the pandemic.

“But it cannot be acceptable for this technology for parents to be able to harass and place unreasonable demands on teachers at all times of the day and night.

“We need robust and clear communications guidance to make it clear the intrusion into teachers personal lives will not be allowed.”

Justin McCamphill, NASUWT National Official Northern Ireland said:

“Throughout the pandemic teachers have learned how to create online lessons, contacted vulnerable children on a daily basis and done their utmost to ensure pupils had the resources they needed to learn from home.

“But we have seen some of these online technologies have been abused by some parents to harass teachers and to criticise them on social media.

“School bullying and harassment policies need to be updated to make it clear that teachers will be protected from messages sent to them in their own time when they are not at school.”


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