Baroness Barran “worries” that teachers “don’t believe” the government is committed to reducing their workload.
Ministers have launched a workload reduction taskforce in a bid to slash five hours each week for teachers and school leaders. It is hoped this will help with the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.
But the academies minister said she was “sad” to say it, but she worried that teachers “don’t believe that we’re really committed to reducing workload and reducing some of the stresses and strains under which they operate”.
The government’s workload survey showed that the average week of a senior leader dropped from 60.5 hours in 2016 to 55.1 in 2019, but had risen slightly to 56.8.
“What I hear is that teachers don’t feel appreciated … and I don’t think that’s just by government,” she told the Conservative party conference. “Generally they don’t feel appreciated and don’t feel as valued as they should.
“So I can understand if there’s a kind of gap there and I think we are super keen to try and close that.”
On whether the negative perception puts people off becoming teachers, Barran said: “I guess I can only agree, I think it must do and I think it’s a real pity because whenever you talk to teachers they tell you how they absolutely love their jobs.”