It’s official – the teaching profession is plagued by long hours and bureaucracy, according to the latest Teachers’ Workload Diary survey from the DfE.
The DfE survey was based on responses from just over 1000 teachers on their hours and working patterns in maintained primary, secondary, academy and special schools in England.
It found that primary teachers are working almost 60 hours a week, compared to just over 50 in 2010. Meanwhile their colleagues in secondary worked nearly 56 hours, while secondary heads recorded over 63 hours. The teachers complained of spending time on ‘unnecessary bureaucratic tasks’, including preparations for Ofsted inspections, form filling and other paperwork, the Guardian reports.
ATL’s Martin Freedman said that teachers are fitting in the equivalent of an extra day a week by working in evenings and weekends: “These figures expose Michael Gove’s claim that this country’s educational achievements would be improved if only teachers worked longer as utter rubbish,” he said. “Exhausted teachers and tired pupils will not help children to achieve the best education outcomes and, at least as far as this survey is concerned, might actually make things worse.”
The NUT described teachers as feeling ‘totally overwhelmed’ and claimed that morale is at an all-time low: “This survey shows an astonishing increase in the hours that teachers are working on Michael Gove’s watch,” said general secretary Christine Blower. “No one enters the profession expecting a nine-to-five job, but working in excess of 55 hours a week and during holidays is entirely unacceptable.”
The DfE said the survey showed that the vast majority of teachers and headteachers are hardworking and dedicated. “We will explore the survey’s findings and ways to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy with the teaching unions as part of our ongoing programme of talks,” a spokesman said.
Do the survey’s findings sound familiar to you and if so how could your hours be decreased? Share your views with the Eteach community!