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Working in Schools

Job quality of educational professionals before and after the pandemic. 

Author/s: Cardiff University and University College London
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This study from Cardiff University and University College London shows that teachers who believe an Ofsted inspection is likely in the coming 12 months have a higher work intensity with less control over their work and are more likely to report always coming home from work exhausted than other teachers.

The study also found that:

  • Teachers who already worked at a higher intensity than other professionals and with lower flexibility have had no change in their working after the pandemic, unlike other professionals.
  • Teachers working in schools with high levels of deprivation have higher work intensity, and lower task discretion than teachers in other schools. 

Prof Alan Felstead, Cardiff University, said,

“This study is unique in that it tracks how the jobs of teachers have changed since the pandemic.  It highlights how working in schools has become relatively less attractive compared other professions – not just in terms of pay – but in terms of work intensity and access to flexible work arrangements. The fear of inspection makes the situation even worse.” 

Prof Francis Green, University College London, said,

“UCL research from before the pandemic showed that teachers’ work had been intensified to a much greater extent than other professional workers. In this new research, in collaboration with Cardiff University, we found that teachers continued to work after the pandemic at a very high pace and in worse conditions, driven by excessive workloads and the fear of inspections. The gap with other professions has widened. It is hardly surprising that England is facing a drastic recruitment shortfall and retains far too few of its newly trained teachers.”

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