Union commissions study into workload

Joan Lemaire
Senior Vice President

Workplace conditions to be part of study

Federation has commissioned an independent study into teachers’ workload concerns.

For the project, “Teaching and Learning — Review of Workload”, a research team from Sydney University will consider teachers’ reports on the volume and intensity of workload requirements and whether some work demands distract teachers from a focus on teaching and learning.

The qualitative research project will consider a range of factors that contribute to workload for teachers, executives and principals including system level demands and workplace conditions.

In addition, the research will seek information about strategies that reduce the impact of work demands and/or workload for teachers, executives and principals.

The research will be based on interviews with members in a range of positions in a random sample of public schools.

Safeguards for anonymity and confidentiality

The sample will include a quota representing metropolitan, rural and remote areas and schools with high, medium and low Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) ranking.

Federation will contact schools in the random sample to alert them to the possibility of involvement in the survey and provide information about the study. Teachers, executives and principals in these schools, who are willing to participate in the study, will be asked to contact the researchers directly. These arrangements will maximise the anonymity and confidentiality of members’ participation in the research.

The researchers are particularly anxious to gain an authentic and robust understanding of staff perspectives on recent changes in schools. They will ask respondents to reflect on the challenges they face within their school workplaces and how best these can be addressed.

The preliminary report from the project will be considered by Federation’s Annual Conference in July.

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