At the moment, teachers and school staff are working excessive hours on unnecessary tasks driven by the assessment and accountability regimes, funding cuts and Government education reforms; this work does not help children learn and is contributing to a teacher recruitment and retention crisis which is set to worsen. 

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.

    Latest on workload

    In the recent publication of 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




    I can complete my assigned workload during my contracted working hours



    I have an acceptable workload



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



    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.

    press release abstractPress release
    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.

    Take steps to reduce workload in your school now

    1. Get together with fellow NEU members in your school to discuss workload - you can download our advice on how to hold a members' meeting here.
    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. You can download our workload campaign planning sheet here.
    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 inspect the inspectors form.
    • Tired teacher in classroom
      Workload reduction toolkit

      Thanks to your campaigning, the government has published a workload reduction toolkit - and written to all headteachers with advice on how to take action. Find out what you can do now.

    • Support staff workload - independent sector
      Inspect the inspectors

      Ofsted have been clear about the work that they do not expect to see, but some teachers are still being asked to provide this evidence by inspectors.

    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.

    • teaching not testing card
      NQT’s time and working day

      When you begin your NQT year, you are taking a big step up in the amount of face to face teaching you are doing, and the level of responsibility you hold.

    • Teacher helping female pupil with writing
      NQT’s time and demands

      As an NQT you are a qualified teacher on induction. You will probably be teaching many more face to face hours than you did during your training.

    • Support staff workload advice
      NQTs and Workload

      To aid with their continued professional development Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have slightly different working conditions to other teachers.

    • Advice Workload meeting
      How to develop a workload campaign in your school

      Any actions to tackle excessive workload and working hours will be more effective if taken together, with staff and leaders working collaboratively to make a positive change across the whole workplace