A new study has revealed that the close monitoring of schools and student achievement data in the UK is a cause of stress for teachers.

University College London found the school system to have some flaws when it comes to effectiveness of teaching.

The research shows the English education system is ‘unlikely to be a one-way street to school improvement’ if it causes teachers undue stress.

The Nuffield Foundation funded paper suggests that increasing accountability in schools may bring about short-term student performance improvements.

However, it also found that this short-term fix is more likely to be counterproductive.

The pressure of close monitoring may lead to shortages in teacher supply and a decline of high quality teachers.

Isabella Jones, a primary school teacher in Liverpool somewhat disagrees with the research.

She said: “I don’t feel that the stress I am feeling is necessarily related to the pressures of the local authorities that is put on the teachers.

“Rather the Department of Education that are putting the strain of the expectation onto the teachers instead.”

Ms Jones admits she understands the pressure for schools to maintain their standards, even in uncertain times like Covid-19.

She said: “There is a lot of pressure on teachers at the moment.

“It’s the pressure and the expectations that the government and parents have of what we should be doing in school.

“I think that causes more stress than anything.”

Ms Jones said she feels pressured to get her students to the standard they should be for their age group.

However, she feels this is unreasonable due to the amount of teaching they have lost.

Due to the lockdown measures, many pupils have missed a nearly year of teaching.

The researchers analysed data from more than 40 countries worldwide and over 100,000 teachers from the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey.

This revealed that England is placed near the top of the ‘accountability’ scale.

It also shows that league tables and inspection measurements are partly responsible for driving up teachers stress levels.

However, Ms Jones said: “I don’t pay attention to the ranking tables, none of my peers pay attention either.

“For me personally I don’t think that puts any stress on me, as I have other priorities as a teacher.

“It is critical now more than ever to know how to improve, but I do believe the monitoring of teachers right now is quite unfair.

“We have done a lot during lockdown which is were the stress stems from right now.”

Pupils returned to school from March 8 in the first step in the roadmap out of lockdown.

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