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ATL Conference Private school fees are causing teachers to work ‘insane hours’

SOARING private school fees have led to “insane” conditions for teachers, National Education Union joint leader Mary Bousted said today.

The National Education Union is expected to debate a motion tomorrow which warns that increasing demand on teachers’ time is leading to “increasing anxiety levels” among the private sector workforce.

Speaking at the union’s ATL section conference, Dr Bousted said a “sense of entitlement among parents” added to the stress.

“[Teachers] are finding that they are working insane hours, often late into the evening, and that’s just not being accounted for [in pay] and making their life extremely difficult.”

She said parents believe they are “paying all this money for our children to be educated” and therefore “expect you to get them through exams with very good grades and to a top university.”

The union recently won an employment tribunal case against Malvern College, which had argued that a boarding mistress’s evening should be classed as her own time rather than paid hours.

Ms Bousted said a recent surge in private school fees had exacerbated the problem. Teachers face “constant emails, constant communication with the parents,” she said.

“The issue is that money is doing the talking and [parents are effectively arguing] ‘I’m paying this money, so in effect I am looking to buy the results.’

“[This is] missing out the fact that actually, in the end, this may not be doing your child any good. Because there are important life lessons to be learned, one of which is if you don’t do the time,  you won’t get the results.”

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