The aim of the NEU’s workload campaign is to bring about a sustainable reduction in the workload of education workers. We want teachers to have time for teaching to ensure they can give each child the education they deserve.

It’s time to take back your time for teaching.

Take steps to reduce workload in your school now

Download our Time for Teaching posters

Read how members at an academy tackled workload

Take steps to reduce workload in your school now

  1. Get together with fellow NEU members in your school to discuss workload - download our advice on how to hold a members' meeting.
  2. Identify together the causes of excessive workload, using DfE and Ofsted guidance on what tasks are not required and which your head should not ask for. Use our workload campaign planning sheet.
  3. Ask your head for a meeting to discuss ways to reduce workload.
  4. If you feel you’re still being asked to provide evidence that isn’t required, please let us know using our feedback form on the new Ofsted framework. You can also contact your local Branch Secretary or the Organising team for further support.

Read more

  • Take Back Your Time For Teaching - Gary

    Watch NEU member Gary talk about his experience of conducting a workload survey in his school.

Workload survey

In the Department for Education’s second teacher workload survey, on average, teachers reported working 49.5 hours per week. This is a reduction from the last survey, but it’s still nearly a 50-hour week and more than the Working Time Regulations maximum of 48 hours.

While some teachers said their school had taken steps to review planning, marking and data policies, many said this had either added to or not changed their workload.

32% of teachers reported new data tracking/monitoring of students’ progress had added to their workload, 37% of middle leaders and 23% of senior leaders. 

Most respondents said they could not complete their workload within their contracted hours, that they did not have an acceptable workload, and that they did not achieve a good work-life balance. The stats are:

Proportion of teachers and middle leaders “strongly disagreeing” or “tending to disagree” with statements

Statement

Primary

Secondary

I can complete my assigned workload during my contracted working hours

91%

94%

I have an acceptable workload

65%

79%

Overall, I achieve a good balance between my work life and my private life

69%

74%

It is clear the Government has much more to do. Read National Education Union joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted's comments in the press release below.

Workload resources

Workload advice

  • Male and female teacher chatting
    Workload advice

    Workload in schools has reached unprecedented levels. The National Education Union (NEU) continues to work for change at a national level, putting pressure on the Government to reduce this.

  • Advice Group of students study diligently in university library while a professor helps them understand the difficult concepts
    Tackling workload together

    Our workload guidance will help you identify tasks or activities which are unnecessary, have no education benefit and cause the most stress.

  • Advice Marking
    Workload : marking

    The Independent Teacher Workload Review Groups were established by the DfE to report on, and suggest solutions to, unnecessary burdens associated with marking, planning and data management.

  • Male hand filling in form
    Ofsted

    Many of the causes of concern for teacher and education professionals are generated by the toxic accountability culture of which Ofsted is a key proponent.

  • Press release press release abstract
    DfE Teacher Workload

    It is good that teachers are spending less time on marking and planning, but the numbers for time spent on data collection are still stubbornly high.