Number of primary teachers who feel unsafe doubles since 2016

There is a growing number of primary teachers who feel unsafe in their classroom, according to the new survey from NZCER, which shows 24% of primary teachers occasionally felt unsafe in their classroom, up from 12% in 2016.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President, Liam Rutherford, says the findings are deeply concerning and show the need for urgent investment in learning support and addressing teacher workload.

Having one in four primary teachers feel unsafe in the classroom is completely unacceptable. This shows just how urgent increased investment in specialist learning support is, along with addressing teacher workload.

The survey found that only 46% of primary teachers thought their workload was fair and only 38% thought their work-related stress was manageable. A quarter thought their workload was so high that they could not do justice to the students they taught.

“These issues are interlinked. The more time teachers have to work on building relationships with students exhibiting extreme behaviour, the better the outcomes will be,” says Mr Rutherford.

“Ultimately the measures we take in schools won’t fix the underlying societal issues that contribute to extreme behaviour. This shows just how important it is that the government continues to invest in a wellbeing approach and be bold in tackling child poverty and domestic violence.”

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