12 February 2019 (updated 8 April 2019)
Voice: The Union for Education Professionals has welcomed the announcement of a joint project between the Pre-school Learning Alliance, the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted to explore workload pressures currently facing the early years workforce, and how best to address them.
The project follows the Alliance’s 2018 Minds Matter survey into mental health and wellbeing in the early years, which revealed that paperwork and administration were the main source of stress for childcare practitioners.
The main aim of the project is to identify areas where pressures could be reduced and where misconceptions about what is required may be creating unnecessary work. The Alliance – working with the DfE and Ofsted – will be running a series of focus groups to gather early years practitioners’ views on workload demands, and will launch a sector-wide online survey in the spring to give all practitioners the opportunity to share their views.
Practitioners who would like to take part in a focus group can register their interest at www.pre-school.org.uk/workloadfocus.
Voice General Secretary Deborah Lawson, who is a member of the project advisory panel, said:
“Voice welcomes this project. There has, rightly, been a focus recently on teachers’ workload, but the workload pressures on practitioners in the early years sector have not been highlighted in the same way. Hopefully, with this project, that will change.
“We know, both from our own members and the Minds Matter survey, that many practitioners do not feel that they have a good work-life balance and regularly feel stressed about work, with some even considering leaving the early years sector due to stress and mental health difficulties.
“I am pleased to be able to represent Voice members on the project’s advisory panel, and urge early years practitioners to take part in one of the focus groups or in the forthcoming survey.”
Survey (April 2019)
The survey opened on 5 April 2019 closes on Friday 3 May. It can be found here: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EYWorkload19