Commenting on the statement by Kirsty Williams, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, on the National Education Workforce Survey 2016-17 Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Wales, said:
“Whereas the NASUWT welcomes the decision by the Cabinet Secretary for Education to undertake this survey, the results reflect the views that have been repeatedly revealed by NASUWT surveys since 2010.
“The survey confirms that teachers have reached breaking point in terms of workload, often generated by the inappropriate accountability frameworks, and that many are considering leaving the profession.
“When view in the context of the difficulty in recruiting to Initial Teacher Training, it is quite apparent that teaching is no longer the graduate profession of choice that it once enjoyed.
“Despite the previous warnings from the NASUWT, and other trade unions, the Welsh Government must view the results as a wake-up call that requires immediate and decisive action to prevent a crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers as this would inevitable impact adversely on the wellbeing and life chances of children and young people in Wales.
Rex Philips, NASUWT National Official for Wales, added:
“There can be ‘no alibis and no excuses’ from the Welsh Government over the outcomes from this survey.
“Teachers and learning support workers across the school and further education sectors have spoken. It’s well past the time for the Welsh Government to start listening: it’s time for the Welsh Government to act.
“The solution, first and foremost, rests with addressing the years of underinvestment in the education workforce.
“The NASUWT has calculated that pupils in Wales are underfunded to the tune of £607 compared to their counterparts in England. This amounts to a colossal £283 million that should be going into school budgets annually.
“That £283 million could be used to employ more teachers and learning support workers, reduce class-sizes, reduce workload and working hours and would go a long way to restoring the morale of teachers and given them more time with their pupils.”