Working hours – mixed messages from politicians!

The Education Secretary wants the school day to be lengthened and holidays shortened, but a senior MP has said that the time politicians spend in the House of Commons appears to be shrinking!

Michael Gove wants pupils to spend more hours at school each day, arguing that a longer school day is the norm in successful East Asian education systems, the BBC reports.

He also wants holidays to be shorter, claiming that current school terms were designed for ‘an agricultural economy’. The Education Secretary said that some academies are already running longer school days or changing the structure of school terms, and that a longer school day would be more family friendly.

ATL’s Mary Bousted accused Mr. Gove of point scoring: “Despite official figures showing that the average teacher works more than 11 hours of unpaid overtime each week, despite most teachers having to prepare and mark work in the evening and at weekends and despite many teachers voluntarily coming in during school holidays because they care about the future of their pupils, the Secretary of State says that schools should be open longer.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, has said that MPs are not spending enough time in Westminster: “Members of the public would be forgiven for thinking that it is MPs who are lazy and that it is parliament that is failing to provide good value for money,” she said. Mrs. Hodge urged the Coalition to extend the number of days MPs sit from fewer than 140 days this year, as ‘it feels as if we are hardly working’.

What do you think of Michael Gove wanting you to work longer hours, especially when the time MPs spend in the Commons has been reduced?

4 thoughts on “Working hours – mixed messages from politicians!

  1. This odious little man is at war with teachers. All teachers want to do is the BEST for their pupils and if politicians (overwhelmingly Tory) were to just get off their backs, butt out and stop interfering with education which they have eminimal understanding and appreciation of, we we all do alot better.

    There have been some disliked education sevreataries over the years (overwhelmingly Tory) but this one takes the biscuit. He must go.

  2. Experienced teacher. I easily work a 50 hour week and sometimes at pressure points 60 hours. This work includes planning, preparation, marking and AFL, revision sessions, support sessions, admin tasks, curriculum development, monitoring, evaluation, inset, departmental meetings, heads of department meetings, whole school meetings, parents evenings(X10), report writing(X7), interim reporting(X14), classroom environment, displays, extra curricular, fieldwork, keeping up to date with educational initiatives and changes, mentoring, pastoral work. Then I am at the chalk face!! (8.45am to 3.30pm.. No time for dinner usually, break time a bonus!!)to deliver lessons. and support sessions. PS. concept of class sizes below 30 increasingly being eroded. And last but not least making time for my own family and children. Work – life balance?

  3. We want well rounded pupils not robots! Children need to have ample time for play and leisure and making the days longer and holidays shorter will limit their capacity to explore their social and emotional lives. As for teachers, their lives are all ready taken up with planning, marking, report writing etc; as well as dealing with large classess. A quality teacher is a teacher who is not over stressed and can actually have the time to be creative and plan for quality classess. I wonder how long ago Michael Gove worked full time in a classroom let alone in a class in an inner city area? Before he starts destroying everyone’s quality of life he should at least experience teaching in an innder city school for at least 2 months, then he might have some idea of what its really like. If all this goes ahead and he shortens the holidays and lengthens the days I am sure the good teachers will leave teaching. This is already happening to some extent. By the end of the school year I am on my knees, if it wasn’t for the holidays I wouldn’t be able to plan properly for the coming year and I wouldn’t get the break every teacher needs to re fuel for the coming year. I feel very sad about it but I am seriously thinking of leaving teaching anyway.

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