Report points to teacher concerns

November 04, 2022 09:33 AM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Almost half of South Australia's public school teachers plan to leave the profession in the next five years, a report has found.

Commissioned by the Australian Education Union, the research also reveals stress levels among teachers are growing with much of that due to increased administrative tasks.

"This report is a damning indictment on a system in desperate need of reform", union state president Andrew Gohl said.

"The issues cut across workload, wellbeing and student complexity, all of which are weighing down on educators' ability to give their students the best outcomes."

Conducted by the University of South Australia's Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion, the report surveyed more than 1600 educators in South Australian schools and preschools.

It found 47 per cent reported being stressed "a lot" and 45.5 per cent were planning to quit.

Teachers reported working 52-hour weeks, with much of the extra time spent on administrative tasks not directly linked to teaching and learning.

The report said work-life balance was also under pressure with most teachers saying their employment left them with no time or only limited time for their personal lives. 

While 86 said their overall feeling of wellbeing in the workplace had decreased in the past five years.

"The findings in this report support the hundreds of anecdotal accounts we've heard from our members across South Australia," Mr Gohl said.

"For years, we have been raising these concerns and have seen few measures to help address the root causes of what is now a teacher shortage crisis."

Lead researcher Joel Windle said a high-quality education system was only possible if teachers' own wellbeing was taken seriously.

"At present, workloads and stress are simply unsustainable and teachers feel unsupported by administrators," Associate Professor Windle said.

"Poor working conditions are contributing to a workforce shortage that will not be resolved unless teachers are listened to and valued as professionals."


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