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How can we prepare teachers to face the diverse challenges of education today? #OECDTALIS

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Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) aims to provide valid, timely and comparable information to help countries review and define policies for developing a high-quality teaching profession.

TALIS helps answer this question by asking teachers and school leaders about their working conditions and the learning environments at their schools.

It is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to provide input into educational policy analysis and development in key areas.

Themes explored include professional development, school leadership, teaching practices, school climate, appraisal and feedback, job satisfaction and teacher profiles.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:


“These findings reflect many of the frustrations that I heard from teachers and heads when I first took on the role of Education Secretary and underlines the importance of the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, that I launched in January of this year.

“The strategy seeks to address many of the concerns outlined in today’s survey, with the Early Career Framework – the biggest teaching reform in a generation – providing the solid foundations for a successful career in teaching, backed by at least £130 million a year in extra funding when fully rolled out.

“We know that too many teachers are having to work too many hours each week on unnecessary tasks, which is why I have taken on a battle to reduce teachers’ workload so that they can focus on spending their time in the classroom doing what they do best – teaching.”

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“TALIS provides an important snapshot of the state of the teaching profession in England and more than 40 other education systems. While the results of a study of this type should always be treated carefully, it is clear that its findings lend further weight to the NASUWT’s concerns about the negative impact of current Government policy on teachers and headteachers.

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“As in previous TALIS reports, a standout result is that teachers in England work longer hours than their colleagues in other education systems. In particular, teachers in England spend longer than their peers on marking, administration and preparation. This finding reflects the unequivocal outcomes of longitudinal research by the NASUWT which demonstrates that high workload remains teachers’ top concern about the quality of their working lives and is a key contributory factor in the deepening teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

“The NASUWT has also highlighted the impact of nearly a decade of suppressed pay on teacher supply and the morale of the workforce. It is, therefore, disappointing but not surprising that TALIS finds that teachers in England are increasingly dissatisfied with their pay and are acutely aware of how poorly it compares with that of other graduate professions.

“The barriers that teachers in England face to participating in high quality professional development and training are matters of longstanding concern. It is deeply troubling that TALIS observes that teachers in this country are more likely than teachers in other systems to report difficulties in accessing training, with many stating that work pressures result in them not having time to access important professional development opportunities.

“The TALIS study sets out some clear pointers to policymakers around the world on supporting the work that teachers and headteachers undertake with children and young people. The report calls for action to tackle teacher dissatisfaction, lack of recognition and burnout, while working with trade unions to enhance teachers’ pay, working conditions and training. Given the adverse consequences of current policy in this respect, these are aims that the Department of Education must adopt and achieve if it is to ensure that pupils in England can continue to benefit from a highly skilled, well-motivated teaching workforce”.

  • Do teachers spend more time on actual teaching and learning in a typical lesson compared to previous years?
  • Do they feel prepared to teach when they start teaching?
  • What sort of continuous professional development programmes do they participate in and how does it impact their practice?

This report looks first at how teachers apply their knowledge and skills in the classroom in the form of teaching practices, with an accompanying assessment of the demographic makeup of those classrooms and the school climate to provide context on learning environments.

The volume then assesses the ways in which teachers acquired their knowledge and skills during their early education and training, as well as the steps they take to develop them through continuous professional development over the course of their career.

Based on the voice of teachers and school leaders, the report offers a series of policy orientations to help strengthen the knowledge and skills of the teaching workforce to support its professionalism.

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is the largest international survey asking teachers and school leaders about their working conditions and learning environments, and provides a barometer of the profession every five years.

Results from the 2018 cycle explore and examine the various dimensions of teacher and school leader professionalism across education systems.

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