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Half Of Teachers Verbally Abused By A Student

Half of Jersey teachers have reported being verbally abused by a pupil.

The 2021 Jersey Teachers' Survey shows that around 20% also reported being verbally abused by a parent, and threatened with physical harm by a pupil.

The proportion of teachers experiencing verbal abuse by a student has nearly doubled since 2015.

It was more common in non-fee paying schools at 61%, compared to 35% in fee-paying schools and 18% of non-government provided schools.

There has also been a big increase in the number of threats of physical harm and physical attacks by a student.

58% of teachers rate the behaviour of their pupils as 'good' or 'very good'. That's down from 82% in 2015.

Just 19% rated behaviour as 'very good'. That's the lowest figure since the surveys began seven years ago.

38% of all qualified teachers and lecturers in Jersey completed the online survey.

Around six in ten of them (59%) said they felt like quitting.

That's up from 54% in 2019.

The main reasons for why are:

  • Workload
  • Work-life balance
  • The pressures of the job
  • Not feeling supported

Of those who thought about leaving, Seven in ten considered leaving the profession altogether.

61% of teachers thought their co-workers cared about their health and wellbeing. Fewer believed the wider community did.

The proportion of teachers who said they were satisfied with their role dropped to 79% from 87% in 2015.

Teachers reported working an average of 53 hours a week.

Senior leaders reported working as many as 61 hours a week.

43% of them think they're well paid for what they do, compared to 52% in 2019.

Just a third of primary teachers think they're paid enough.

56% of teachers rate their general health as good or very good, compared to 68% in 2015 and 74% of the general public in 2020.

39% of teachers also reported feeling very anxious.

More than three-quarters of Jersey teachers said they feel worried about the impact of the pandemic on students' learning.

Six in ten teachers who completed it said Covid negatively impacted their work-life balance.

Eight in ten noticed an increase in stress, anxiety, and panic attacks amongst pupils.

More than a third of Jersey primary school classes in government-run schools had more than 26 pupils last year.

The published desired class size for primary schools is 26 children.

In January 2021, class sizes ranged from between 13 and 30 pupils.

The average across the board was 25.1. That compares to 26.6 in England.

The government says these results will be used to inform policy and decision-making, particularly with Education reform and Covid-19 recovery.

"I am proud that our teachers, senior leaders, and support staff have risen so well to the many challenges posed by COVID-19. But from speaking to them, I also know that this has taken a toll on their well-being and mental health.

There is a range of support in place for all Government of Jersey staff, including those in schools and colleges. This includes access to resources, information, and advice, as well as access to counselling, where appropriate.

Covid challenges are still with us, but as we continue to move out of the crisis phase of the pandemic, we have already started to plan our responses to our teachers’ concerns, both for themselves and for Jersey’s children and young people. We are doing this through working with school leaders, teachers’ unions and professional associations, and officers across the Government of Jersey." - Sean O'Regan, Group Director of Education.

A Scrutiny review published in 2020 called for action to reduce teachers' workload and give more business support funding to free them from doing jobs not directly linked to classroom teaching.

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