Commenting on a UCL study, published today by the Nuffield Foundation, showing that one in four teachers work more than 60 hours per week, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The Government is doing a far better job of driving people out of teaching than they are in retaining them.

“60-hour working weeks are completely unacceptable, and it is one of the key reasons why one third of newly qualified teachers leave within five years. There is no reason to suppose this will change – in our most recent members’ poll, 40% predicted they will no longer be in education by 2024.

“During the past three years the Government has made efforts to draw attention to ways of reducing workload. The National Education Union has welcomed this, but it is quite obvious to teachers and school leaders that successive education secretaries are failing to solve the problem.

“Government must face the fact that it is the culture of excessive accountability, brought on by the Department for Education and Ofsted, which acts as the main driver of workload. Nor is it fair on children that teachers are so exhausted outside of contact-time with paperwork that so rarely benefits pupils. For so long as these skewed priorities continue, schools will be in the grip of a culture of fear, over-regulation, and a lack of trust. “