Education Support gives evidence to Education Select Committee

We were invited to give evidence to the Education Select Committee’s inquiry on teacher recruitment and retention on 14 November.

News 06 December 2023 / 2 mins read


Our CEO, Sinéad Mc Brearty gave evidence on a panel which included:

  • Professor Becky Francis CBE from the Education Endowment Foundation
  • Professor Becky Allen from Teacher Tapp
  • Jack Worth from the NFER

Sinéad outlined how high stakes accountability can add to the workload burden for school staff. Due to the very real risk of job losses and having a negative impact on the local community, staff find themselves trying to imagine every possible scenario, and create a paper trail of evidence for everything! This is an impossible situation made even more difficult by the high levels of subjectivity in the system – it’s simply not possible to imagine every scenario and every flavour of inspector.

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that creating paper trails can take staff away from their core purpose, which is educating children and young people.

Sinéad also talked about a layer of additional workload that is often missed by government initiatives and many debates about teacher workload. This is the additional responsibilities that have come about due to the Covid-19 pandemic and under-funding of public services.

In our report Teaching: the new reality we showed how getting children and young people ready to learn – often through washing, feeding or emotionally supporting them – creates extra responsibilities that add hours to most educators’ work week. Staff also carry the emotional burden as vulnerable children are unable to access support from social services or mental health professionals. School staff are often left filling the gaps while children and young people wait.

The education workforce is unique in its high levels of moral purpose. Having a sense of purpose is a key driver good workplace wellbeing. Unfortunately, Sinéad explained, the current working conditions in the education system, wring out this sense of purpose from teachers and leaders, leaving many wondering if it’s time to leave the profession.

Does this ring true for you? Share your thought on our social channels using @EdSupportUK