Stressed man in an office

Workload and working hours

Teachers in the UK continue to work more intensively and for longer hours than any other profession. There is no better time to act to reduce workload in your workplace.

Workload crisis

There are now six times more teacher vacancies than in 2010 and the majority of teachers work well over 60 hours a week.

To put pressure on the next government to take urgent action on workload, please complete this short survey.

Take the survey

The number of hours for which teachers can be directed to teach or undertake other professional duties is subject to a limit of 1,265. On top of this teachers are expected to work ‘reasonable additional hours’ to fulfil their professional responsibilities. 

Stress and exhaustion are not only the products of excessive working hours but also of having too little professional discretion in your workplace - with key decisions about the curriculum and teaching strategies taken out of your professional control. 

Win on pay and workload

As a result of the strike action you took last year, the Government announced it will remove performance related pay (PRP) for teachers and take steps to reduce workload and working hours. They will consult with a view to doing this from September 2024.

These are significant wins which will have a real impact on teachers’ working lives.

The Government will also add a list of administrative and clerical tasks into the teacher contract that you should not be required to do, again from September. It will be made clear to SLTs that teachers shouldn’t be asked to do things that don’t require their professional skills or judgement.

These were included in the  initial recommendations by the Workload Reduction Taskforce.

Thumbnail for workload taskforce win video Watch and share this film on the workload win

Watch and share this film on the workload win

Reducing workload in the workplace

It is time to reclaim your professional lives and reduce accountability workload in your workplace.

Workload audit

A workload audit checklist to use to identify which of those issues are most prevalent in your workplace.

Marking policy checklist

The aim of this policy checklist on marking is assist NEU reps to assess whether a policy to manage marking and feedback is acceptable.

Related content

Directed time artwork

Directed time

Directed time is when teachers are directed by their head teacher to be at work and available for work.

Black woman writing notes


The STPCD requires teachers to cover “rarely, and only in circumstances that are not foreseeable". Asking teachers to cover in other circumstances, such as for planned absences, is unacceptable.

Black woman writing notes


Excessive classroom observation is one of the biggest sources of stress and does not of itself lead to better practice.

Man and woman talking


The need to secure fair and reasonable objectives for teachers at the start of the appraisal process.

Value education logo

Value Education Value Educators

The National Education Union (NEU) launched Value Education, Value Educators, to highlight the concerns of our members, parents and students so that, together, we can change things for the better. Join us to shape the future of education.

Sign up to our campaign
Back to top