40% OF TEACHERS ARE THINKING OF LEAVING.WHY?
WORKLOAD AND STRESS.

In March, 4,382 teachers were surveyed by The Guardian. Close to half of them said they were thinking of leaving the profession, mostly because of workload and stress. They were asked which of the following contributed most to their workload …

The Guardian has just published some distressing, though not entirely surprising, statistics about the working lives of our teachers. Two in five teachers are considering leaving the profession within five years, over 80% of schools have struggled to recruit new teachers, and crucially, more than 70% of teachers felt that the teacher shortage was already affecting children.

Headteachers are equally vulnerable to pressure according to Valentine Mullholland, policy adviser at the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) who said: “We’re seeing an increase in school leaders being dismissed if they have one bad inspection. ‘Football manager syndrome’ is on the rise in British schools.”

The good news is that Earwig really can make a big difference to the way teachers feel about workload and stress. Let’s take the top four workload exacerbators, as defined by teachers in the survey. You can see the whole article here.

OFSTED INSPECTIONS

With Earwig, schools are always ready for that ‘no notice’ Ofsted visit. The evidence is all there, beautifully presented, for any class, pupil or subject or to track any other aspect of performance. This turns Ofsted inspections from a threat to an opportunity for teachers to strut their stuff. More on this below.

GOVERNMENT POLICY CHANGES

Every time policy changes this is reflected in the way pupils are assessed and it is these changes which cause confusion and add to workload and stress. If you school use the Earwig Assessment Module, we change the framework so that it works for you and assessment remains straightforward, quick and easy, whatever the policy is this week!

LACK OF PPA TIME

It is the Assessment element of PPA that takes most of the time and Earwig has been shown (many times) to reduce the time spent on assessment by 50% (yes, half) while improving analytics, benchmarking and reporting. Check out the video clips on our Assessment Module page.

DATA INPUT MANAGEMENT

This is really all about capturing, organising and presenting evidence. That is what Earwig was set up to do. It really does make evidence capture and management easy and ensures that it is always current. The learn more about the Earwig system, go to How it Works.

Earwig can contribute substantially to reducing stress for teachers in each of the top four categories cited by teachers in The Guardian. Of particular value will be the new Earwig assessment module, which has been demonstrated to reduce the amount of time teachers spend on assessment by 50%. It’s unique app and software turns this from a pain into a pleasure and leaves more time for teachers to be teaching. Which is why they joined the profession in the first place!

Emilie-Kate Kidd - Co-founder Earwig Academic Reporting Ltd

THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE POTENTIAL FOR AN OFSTED INSPECTION IS AN ADDED STRESS FACTOR FOR TEACHERS.

Ofsted inspections can take several forms but, nowadays, whether it’s a whole school or just a subject inspection, the one common feature is that they all come without warning.

In the past, it was possible to count on a few days to get you evidence together and present your work and your school in the best light. Now you need to be prepared at all times. Much more stressful – unless you have Earwig.

For primary schools, the 2016 Interim Assessment guidelines require evidence for each assessment decision.

CLICK, TAG, FORGET

Earwig was invented by a teacher to deal with exactly this situation. By using the Earwig app to capture the moment, tag the child, the subject and any assessment statements and make the assessment (if relevant). Then know that you can produce a vivid and professionally presented timeline of records to illustrate any aspect of school, class, subject or individual performance.

DOES EARWIG MEAN WE’LL GET AN IMPROVED GRADE?

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee you and upgrade at you next inspection. But…
What we can say is this.

  1. In a brief visit, inspectors are unlikely to capture many of those magic moments of achievement that make teaching so worthwhile.  If you’ve been using Earwig, you’l have lots of them, all laid out beautifully, so that progress over time is clear.
  2. This year, the DfE is placing more insistence on providing evidence for each individual assessment decision, whatever assessment framework is being used.
  3. Improved parental engagement is high on Ofsted’s list of desirable objectives, especially for lower performing schools.
  4. When Earwig schools have been inspected, the inspector has usually spent a long time looking at the timelines.
  5. No school using Earwig has ever been downgraded and about one quarter of Earwig schools have been upgraded following their inspection.

Check the video to hear teacher talking about their inspection experience.

We are an outstanding school, so we don’t get inspected for years. But the next time an Ofsted inspector arrives I’m going to say. ‘Sit down Mr Inspector, take it easy. Have a cup of coffee and look at this.


Giles Storch - Headteacher Euxton Primary, Lancs.