Commenting on Nicky Morgan's first speech to the Conservative Party Conference as Secretary of State for Education, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union in the UK, said:
“This was a well-delivered, well-crafted speech with welcome warm words for the teaching profession.
“Schools will welcome that Nicky Morgan has established herself as the Secretary of State for all schools, not just academies and free schools.
“Teachers will welcome the recognition that their professional lives are blighted by excessive workload. They will welcome the Secretary of State's commitment to address this.
“But tackling workload effectively will require the Secretary of State to recognise the contribution of this Government's policies to the current excessive workload burdens.
“Prior to this Government coming into office, 61% of teachers were not considering leaving the teaching profession, 88% of teachers did not feel professionally disempowered.
“65% of teachers were not saying that they would not recommend teaching as a career and working hours had not increased by 20% in a four year period.
“This is the reality of the state of the teaching profession after four years of this Government's policies and it will take action from the Secretary of State, as well as words of encouragement, to rectify this.”
Notes to editors
The NASUWT Big Question survey, which attracted over 12,000 responses from teachers this year found that:
· Workload was the top concern of 84% of teachers;
· 80% had experienced more workplace stress in the last 12 months;
· 80% believed that the job has impacted negatively on their wellbeing in the last 12 months;
· 58% say that their job satisfaction has declined in the last 12 months;
· 69% had considered leaving their job in the last 12 months;
· 61% had considered leaving the teaching profession in the last 12 months.