Teachers in England and Wales are being slowly crushed by a workload which is driving the majority to consider leaving the profession and many to do just that. The UK's Naitonal Union of Teachers has just conducted a workload survey of its members and the results make shocking reading: 

·         90% of teachers said they had considered giving up teaching during the last two years because of workload.

·         87% said they know one or more colleagues who had given up during the last two years because of workload.

·         96.5% said their workload had negative consequences for their family or personal life.

The comments made by teachers also reflect the desparate situation many feel themselves to be in, here are three examples but many more are contained in the survey report.  

·         ‘I have three young boys who I barely spend time with anymore. Just writing that sentence upset me deeply.’ – primary teacher, Bury

·         ‘I am fed up of seeing my colleagues near to breaking point, and there isn’t a week goes by where I don’t see someone crying. This has to stop.’ – primary teacher, Trafford

·         ‘I love teaching, but hate the system I teach in. I’m a good and well respected teacher, but I can’t keep living like this. The moment I find the right opportunity, I will leave this uncaring, fear driven, life-drain that masquerades as a “profession”.’ – secondary teacher, Suffolk

The treatment of teachers in the UK is only a more intense form of that which is being visited all over the global North by so-called education reform. It has reached similar depths in the US. In the global South, teachers not only have to suffer such bullying regimes, they also have to cope with class sizes of 60 - 200 and starvation pay.

UK teachers are not accepting this situation however. After several days of strike action and an energetic campaign with the public, the education secretary had become so unpopular that he lost his job. Teachers unions are involved in a massive campaign to enlighten communities about what is happening and to join with them in the fight to defend public edcuation, both from such impossibly bullying regimes but also from cuts and privatisation. As well as campaigning on the high streets and the school gates, unions are planning more action to defend both their profession and public education.