Teachers 'bullied' into holding revision sessions for 'lazy' students, education union warns

Camilla Turner
The education union passed a motion expressing

Teachers are being “bullied” into holding revision sessions for “lazy” students, an education union warns as it considers banning its members from holding classes outside the school day.

The increasing demand for extra classes is down to unruly teenagers who have been allowed to run riot due to “ineffectual school discipline measures” and “pitiable parenting”, delegates at the Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) annual conference in Manchester were told.

The education union passed a motion expressing "deep concern" at the "debilitating pressure" of teachers to give their students extra sessions in the run-up to exams.

They voted to consider banning their members from holding any revision or booster classes after school hours to end teachers feeling guilt-tripped into running them.  

Teachers said that school leaders tell them that revision classes increase exam results by 10-15 per cent Credit: Keith morris / Alamy

Proposing the motion, Louis Kavanagh, of Solihull, told delegates that demand for revision sessions was "born of desperation, frantically compensating for a poor learning culture, lazy students, pitiable parenting, ineffectual school discipline measures and structures putting all the burden on the class teacher.

"If the classroom teacher is to be held culpable for everything, then the student is responsible for nothing - and the school is absolved".

He said that pressure from school leaders to run such sessions "instills a sense of guilt in teachers such that they feel they are never doing enough".

The motion noted "the de facto lengthening of the school day through the expectation that teachers will deliver extra lessons outside of the normal timetable".

It highlighted "the bullying of teachers into running 'booster' and revision classes after school, at weekends and during holiday periods".

Katherine Carlisle, of Birmingham, told the conference that such practise “amounts to exploitation of teachers," and said one friend had already run three such sessions during the Easter holiday, the Times Education Supplement reported.  

She said teachers were "pressured or coerced" to use their unpaid time to run interventions, with school leaders telling them it increased results by 10-15 per cent, students would be grateful, parents were demanding it, or it could be good for their career progression. She added: "In essence, teachers are guilt tripped into running intervention sessions".

Another delegate, Mark Cope, said that teachers giving extra classes is like a “poison that spreads”, adding: "It has become normative in most secondary schools that the school day has been lengthened by proxy.”

John Godkin, of South Derbyshire, said that workload was the biggest problem in schools, and teachers were being bullied into taking part in these interventions. 

Teachers voted to “consider issuing a specific action instruction on interventions and teaching outside the school day”.

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