School leaders in Wales have gone on strike to express their concerns about the future of education in the country. In 52% of cases, head teachers report being close to quitting. According to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), a few junior teachers are willing to accept the vacant places. Thus creating a looming shortage of headteachers if this occurs. Can EdTech radically change this situation?
The number of departing head teachers is alarming. For instance, of the headteachers hired in 2015, a total of 25% had left by 2020, while of those hired in 2011, no less than 21% had left after five years. That means the 75% who remain are part of the 52% who are considering quitting. How can they be helped to stay?
The pressures of running a school have gradually increased over the last ten years, according to one resigned headteacher. Consider how these factors have affected headteachers. The first is budget cuts; over the past ten years, less and less money has been made available to schools for their use. As a result, headteachers have had to be constantly innovative in order to obtain many essential school supplies. Second, the rising cost of energy necessitates reallocating the majority of funds to pay for electricity, which places yet another demand on headteachers to come up with new ways to stretch a limited budget. Third, because of the decline in teacher retention and recruitment, schools are perpetually understaffed. It is sometimes necessary for the head teacher to take on a few classes to relieve overworked teachers. Finally, the pandemic had a negative impact as well; there are numerous initiatives that need to be supported in light of the difficulties the pandemic has brought about. This presents a number of unique challenges for head teachers.
Unhappy at work
As a result of the aforementioned challenges, unpaid overtime was required. All those hours were spent coming up with solutions to the major problems affecting the school, such as a lack of funds or materials. This frustrated headteachers even more and reduced their job satisfaction. In order to raise funds for the school, one headteacher admitted to feeling guilty about initiatives that depleted the community’s resources. That makes it even harder to be satisfied with one’s job. Despite the fact that the headteacher was well aware of the negative impact their fundraising tactics could have on their local community, they felt obligated to continue due to budget restraints.
A tired body is the result of a constantly hectic schedule with no time for rest. Six in ten headteachers admit they have thought about changing jobs in the last year due to increased stress levels. They frequently burst into tears, got migraines, and even passed out under the strain. This illustrates the toll that working in education is taking on headteachers and their health.
Paul Rose was the head teacher of a primary school in Derby for four years. He worked seven days a week and barely saw his children, which left him feeling lonely. After three years, he came to the realization that he could not continue because it was affecting his mental and physical health.
The fact that headteachers are constantly attempting to acquire new, cutting-edge technology rather than making use of what they already have is one of the main reasons they have such a difficult job. Their already limited budget is subsequently put under pressure, and they quickly conclude that EdTech cannot help or lessen the burden. However, EdTech can achieve a lot if the focus is changed to place more emphasis on the advantages of whatever technological tools they have to help achieve educational goals.
Think about this: Headteachers not only supervise teachers but also provide them with support. What better way to show teachers support than to help them manage their current, excessive workload? For example, it would be advantageous to obtain an application that allows teachers to perform real-time online assessments that instantly mark and grade students’ work. The workload of the teachers would be reduced by about 11 hours per week as a result. By using technology to streamline the process of assessment and marking, headteachers can show their teachers that they understand and appreciate the immense amount of work involved in teaching.
Headteachers are already investing in digital assets to supplement current school strategies and goal attainment. How about using EdTech to address financial constraints? Imagine a tool that is simple to use, works with all mobile devices, and can deliver expected results for a very low total cost of ownership. It gets the job done without breaking the bank because it only requires a basic phone or tablet, which you may already have. Such a tool could be a real game-changer for school administrators looking to get the most out of their limited budget.
Teachers and principals yearn for a respite from the never-ending struggle. E-spaces has developed an application that helps schools achieve their objectives while saving time and money. Try out a real-time digital assessment tool for free right now to see if it can help reduce the pressure on both you and your staff. This might finally make teaching seamless, fun, and connected, as it should be.