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Konstadina Griva of University College in England and Katherine Joekes of Leiden University in the Netherlands recently compared 166 teachers from London with 2,017 teachers from 10 other European countries. The researchers measured job satisfaction, symptoms of stress and coping strategies. Teachers in London scored a third higher on emotional exhaustion than their European counterparts. The study establishes that teachers in England work significantly longer hours and perceive more demands and lower personal control in their jobs. The study concludes that teachers in England are the most stressed in Europe. The research suggests the key way to help teachers is to rescue the profession from the government's obsession with grading teachers and their work.

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The researchers measured job satisfaction, symptoms of stress and coping strategies.

I'd be interested to know how these were actually 'measured'. Perhaps they have invented a 'moan meter'? :) I fear that this sort of study lends itself to a large amount of 'interpretation' through the language that is used to describe 'job satisfaction', 'stress symptoms' and the like and will not, therefore, be taken very seriously by anyone who can actually change anything!. Furthermore, I do feel that some researchers enjoy being paid to carry out studies that state the blindingly obvious!

The research suggests the key way to help teachers is to rescue the profession from the government's obsession with grading teachers and their work.

This is definitely not 'rocket science'! Speak to teachers in any staffroom and you will get the answers ... too much government interference and burocracy of all kinds, too little recognition of actual achievement, too much of a blame culture created through the 'league table' systems, too much testing causing students to 'switch off' and become disillusioned and disruptive.... I could go on and on!

Studies are great but they are pointless exercises if absolutely nothing improves as a result of them. <_<

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Studies are great but they are pointless exercises if absolutely nothing improves as a result of them.  :tomatoes

I wouldn't expect a study in itself to improve the general lot of teachers. They are important however for the ammunition they supply for pressure groups and professional associations who can do this. By publicising this particular study on this public forum John may well be assisting in this process :(

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I agree. We have just done a teacher workload study here and the findings are very similar. I presented it to our Minister this morning and she was quite shocked at some of what it revealed. She is Labor and friendly to us which is a help, but she had not known of some of the things reported by teachers because her minders and bureaucrats do their best to keep them from her. Our curriculum gurus have come up with a new report format which is totally user unfriendly and jargon filled, and is stressing our teachers and this fact came out in the survey. I took her a copy, which she actually hadn't seen. She has two young children, she took one look at it, and was appalled - as a result one top bureaucrat tomorrow is in for a bit of a talking to. So, surveys can achieve things - sometimes!!

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If you have the ear of your minister Jay, perhaps you might put in a word and suggest that she speak to our, and other education ministers! Would that ours were so approachable!

I think it would also be really useful if ministers were pointed in the direction of this forum so that they could at least read some of the discussion taking place amongst us 'chalk face' workers - they might learn rather more than they do by listening to the civil servants who filter and carefully select what they will or won't see, hear or read first hand! :)

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Because we are a small state (about the size of Ireland) and only 400,000 population, I guess it's a very different situation, but she really does have an open door policy. I, along with one or two other of our union officers, have regular organised monthly meetings with her, and also meet more informally with her advisers. Her approach is, we won't agree on everything, but at least let's see where we can agree and how we can sort out differences. She has publicly promised to send her 2 small children to state schools as she herseld did and her previously Ed Minister father, also did.

Yes, what a pity they can't all be so reasonable. She doesn't get us all the money and resources we'd like but she does try. I recently met the Canberra Minister for Education - 35, widowed, with a 7 year old son. Everyone says she's great, so perhaps that's what you need - young mothers!!!

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Because we are a small state (about the size of Ireland) and only 400,000 population, I guess it's a very different situation, but she really does have an open door policy. I, along with one or two other of our union officers, have regular organised monthly meetings with her, and also meet more informally with her advisers. Her approach is, we won't agree on everything, but at least let's see where we can agree and how we can sort out differences. She has publicly promised to send her 2 small children to state schools as she herseld did and her previously Ed Minister father, also did.

Yes, what a pity they can't all be so reasonable. She doesn't get us all the money and resources we'd like but she does try. I recently met the Canberra Minister for Education - 35, widowed, with a 7 year old son. Everyone says she's great, so perhaps that's what you need - young mothers!!!

I agree. Size is a factor but the UK is particularly bad when it comes to education ministers. A few years ago I was invited (along with a group of students who had written a report on our examination system) to meet David Blunkett at the Department of Education. The students got very excited about this proposed meeting but Blunkett did not turn up and we had to deal with Michael Barber, his chief adviser instead. Barber told us that Blunkett wanted to personally respond to this report and another meeting would be set-up with him, including a tour of the Houses of Parliament.

Despite, several email and phone calls to remind Barber of his promises, he never set-up this promised meeting (in fact he refused to speak to me or reply to the emails). I eventually realised we had been set up. The story was issued as a Department of Education press release and this led to the students appearing on Radio 4. Blunkett (or Barber) were not really interested in what my sociology students had discovered about our examination system. What they wanted to do was to tell the public they were interested in the ideas of my ‘A’ level students who had experienced this system. The meeting was no more than a public relations exercise. The result was one adult and four young people even more disillusioned with our political system.

By the way, I have informed our education ministers of the presence of this forum. I am not sure if they have read what we have had to say. But, maybe they have, I recently heard that they have withdrawn the funding for the forum. According to their spokesperson, it is not a government priority to financially support forums this year. After all, they are rather short of money as a result of all this money being spent on e-learning credits. The only we can get any money for our activities is to charge teachers to use the forum.

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