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
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 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.
How do you take back your time for teaching?
Use our directed time pro forma to work out your hours
Download our Time for Teaching posters for your school boards
Take steps to reduce workload in your school now
- Get together with fellow NEU members in your school to discuss workload using our advice on how to hold a meeting.
- 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 for immediate priorities.
- Ask your head for a meeting to discuss ways to reduce workload.
- If you feel you’re still being asked to provide evidence that isn’t required, please let us have your feedback on the new Ofsted framework.
- Contact us if you require further support
Members at an Oasis academy school in London have made real progress in tackling workload.
Our workload guidance will help you identify tasks or activities which are unnecessary, have no education benefit and cause the most stress.
Want to get involved or need further assistance?
Your first point of contact for advice and support from the union should be your National Education Union workplace representative.
If you don't know who that is, contact your branch or district. You can get contact details by telling us which local authority you work in: