1000 teachers say 'we need more time'!

The results of our workload survey are in and the conclusions are clear. We need more time to focus on the things that make a difference for our students.

1000 teachers say they are deluged by admin tasks: survey, Primrose Riordan, Canberra Times, September 8, 2014

Canberra teachers 'missing out on professional development, Jonathon Gul, ABC, September 8, 2014

Between August 26 and September 2, over 1000 ACT teachers and school leaders responded to our survey on workload and professional collaboration. Here are the key findings.

  • 98% of ACT teachers say there has been an increase in overall workload over the last 5 years, there has been an increase in the number of tasks they are required to complete over the last 5 years and there has been an increase in the number of bureaucratic, administrative and compliance tasks they are required to complete.

  • 86% of ACT teachers state that administrative tasks are impacting on their ability to consistently deliver the best possible lessons.

  • 96% of ACT teachers state that they value collaborative professional learning when appropriate time is allocated but 79% feel they do not have enough time to regularly engage in it.
  • 89% of ACT teachers think that regular collaborative professional learning, built into the weekly timetable, will help them improve their teaching practice and enhance ACT public schools.

Teachers commented:

“I like that we try to do so much to reflect on and improve our practice, but it becomes useless if we aren't given adequate time to prepare and work together.”

“It is not uncommon for me and many of my colleagues to be doing up to 3 hours of work at home on weekdays and double that over a weekend. As a parent myself I find it is very hard to find any kind of appropriate work/ life balance.”

“I regularly do not get any break at all, including to go to the toilet or eat or drink anything at all until after 3:00pm each day. My working day usually finishes at 7 pm. We need more staff and more time in schools.”

“Providing time for educators to collaborate is a proven method of enhancing teaching effectiveness. We need to value the professionalism of teachers and provide opportunities for them to make more lessons, better lessons.”

“The increase in administrative tasks has meant that I have less time to plan thorough and engaging lessons, or mark assessments tasks to provide feedback in a timely manner. I feel that this detracts significantly from the results I could be reaching with my students.”

“There is much evidence that a collaborative, professional learning community approach can lead to improved learning outcomes for students. The approach does require time to collaborate and to focus on learning, evidence and interventions. Lack of time is a blocker to the implementation of this approach.”

“I love teaching, but the workload at my school was so great, I had to go part time at my school to be able to have anything approaching work-life balance.”

“Over the last five or more years I have been given less time and lesser quality resources to do my job. I see more disillusioned colleagues around me now, than at any time in my twenty five plus years of teaching in the ACT.”

“Even with all the out of hours work I am completing I am still finding it difficult to remain on top of the administrative tasks and then simply plan a lesson.”

School leaders commented:

“As a school leader, my working week is between 55 and 70 hours. Approximately 60% of this relates to non-teaching duties which have been transferred from central office as a result of budget cuts in that area. The tasks have been transferred to school with no additional resources. I do not have the time to effectively support staff or the resources needed to deliver up-to-date learning experiences for students.”

“My desire is to be an instructional leader but I consistently struggle to give this the priority it deserves because of my workload.”

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