ATL president Kim Knappett says excessive workload and constant changes impact on teachers’ time with pupils

Kim Knappett ATLExcessive workload and constant changes in education leaves teachers with little time to do work that benefits students’ learning, the incoming president of the ATL has warned.

South-east London-born and based Kim Knappett takes office today and will at a reception on Thursday set out the issues she is most passionate about during her presidential year.

A science teacher for almost 30 years, Kim believes that the government needs to give teachers:

·        the ‘time’ to do the work that matters to students and has an impact on them;

·        the space to ‘talk’ to colleagues, to share concepts, to solve problems and to develop new ideas; ·        and, most of all, to ‘trust’ education professionals to know what is best and let them get on with the job.

Mrs Knappett said: “With teachers’ excessive workload and the constant changes to education, teachers are left with little time do the things that really count with their students. As a teacher, I know personally that the night before teaching I sometimes have to spend time doing things that I know will not really impact my students, and there are more effective things I could do.

“That is why I want teachers to be able to re-claim the time they need to do the job they, as educational professionals, know inside-out. I also want the government to trust teachers to get on with the job. We’ve lost trust from the government; we need to look at how we can get it back.

“Teachers also don’t get time to talk anymore; it’s one of the big changes I’ve seen in 30 years. There used to be time to sit in the staffroom and talk; we used to share ideas, we used to share resources, which we don’t do now because there isn’t time to talk.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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