Principals are lacking the time they require to help their students and staff, says the teachers union.
A survey published this week shows that a vast majority of teachers in Victoria are struggling to provide basic help to their students.
The AEUVIC survey of 13,000 teachers revealed around 90% of teachers say their workload negatively affects the quality of their teaching.
According to the data – analysed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) – just one-third of teachers say they’re able to provide timely feedback, deal with student behaviour and effectively assess student progress.
Australian Education Union’s Victoria branch (AEUVIC) president, Meredith Peace, told The Educator that principals are under “intense pressure” and are not being given the support they need.
“This means that they are not getting the time they require to support their teachers and education support staff,” she said.
“By providing our principals with more support for administration and compliance tasks and more time to focus on educational leadership, they would have more capacity to work closely with staff.”
However, Peace added that while this alone would not address the problem of over-worked teachers, giving principals, teachers and education support staff quality time to work together “leads to the best outcomes for Victorian students”.
Students the biggest losers in teachers’ workload crisis
Peace warned that current workload situation in Victorian schools was “unsustainable”, adding that vulnerable students would be hit the hardest if urgent action wasn’t taken.
“Teachers are telling us they find it difficult to give students the one on one support they need to reach their potential,” Peace said.
“Unless teachers have more time in their working week for lesson planning and assessment, Victorian students will continue to miss out. If the Government is serious about making Victoria the 'Education State' they must support the key resource in schools, our staff, and address the workload crisis.”