Policy Forum for Wales Meeting

13 December 2018

Policy Forum for Wales Meeting

On Friday, December 13th, UCAC General Secretary Dilwyn Roberts-Young, spoke at a meeting organised by the Policy Forum for Wales which considered the ‘next steps’ for the teaching profession in Wales.

His presentation focussed on the need to give full consideration to the health and well-being of teachers and in getting to grips with the workload which is proving so detrimental to the profession.

He referred to research by Westminster, the charity Education Partnership and from UCAC itself which showed that teachers and leaders were working hours beyond that allowed legally by the WorkingTime Regulation.

He noted the report by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) on promoting health and well-being which saw the employee as the ‘most valuable asset’ and that a ‘holistic approach’ was needed to ensure ‘a happy, healthy and motivated workforce’.

We are in a period of great change in education and change can cause a great deal of stress amongst the workforce. This is a time where we need to ensure respect and trust and in order for this to happen it is worth highlighting the principles outlined by the Health and Safety Executive(HSE):

talk to one another; listen to one another's concerns; raise concerns and solve problems together; seek and share views and information; discuss issues in good time; consider what everyone has to say; make decisions together.

The document Teaching: A Valued Profession states the need to:

  • develop the confidence and gain the trust of the public;
  • tackle workload;
  • ensure confident leadership.

No doubt the report will lead to discussion and debate, but we are in a period where we need to see a real change in a culture which is at time overwhelming in terms of workload and accountability. The devolution of pay and conditions of service is an opportunity to take a fresh look at teaching – only in doing so can we attract new teachers into the profession.

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