Principal fears for teachers

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A growing number of local teachers are regularly working a six-plus day week because of unsustainable workloads, according to Lisburn principal Gillian Dunlop.

“This comes as no surprise to local teachers struggling to cope with burgeoning workloads which are just not feasible in the contracted timeframe,” said Ms Dunlop.

“The result is these teachers are becoming stressed and disenchanted and the impact is on not just the teachers but the children. The situation is worryingly unsustainable.

“Teachers’ frustrations at their long hours are heightened by the fact it is bureaucracy which is taking up their time rather than teaching. Perhaps our Department of Education could take a leaf from their Scottish colleagues’ book and establish a Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy.

“In its latest report the group identifies specific areas where changes need to be made so teachers have the freedom they need to do the job to the best of their ability.

“It highlights specific areas where changes need to be made to tackle unnecessary forward planning.”