Work Your Proper Hours Day

The NEU will continue to pressure the Government to reduce workload and achieve the reductions needed by our members.


Commenting on the TUC’s annual survey of unpaid overtime hours which sees teachers ranked highest for the first time, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“No teacher wants to be topping the charts for unpaid overtime, but this, sadly, is the point the profession has now reached. The Government is currently benefiting from 5.5 million unpaid hours from teaching professionals alone. Of those working unpaid overtime, staff are averaging an extra 26.3 hours per week. Head teachers will undoubtedly be the worst affected. The Department for Education’s own survey from 2023 showed full-time leaders working an average 57.5hrs per week and full-time teachers 51.9hrs per week. Both are above the UK’s Working Time Regulations and extend well beyond classroom hours. 

“The Department for Education has had warm words on tackling workload for many years, but a succession of education secretaries have failed to get to the heart of the problem. It is clear that high workload is now a feature of teaching, not a bug. 

“The Government has shot itself in the foot by failing to tackle working hours for so long. Unmanageable workload is the main driver of teachers leaving, alongside excessive accountability. And in the context of recruitment, graduates look to teaching and the current education climate and unsurprisingly opt for other professions rather than be underpaid for excessive hours spent in buildings that are falling apart thanks to a miserly Government. 

“Recent steps by the Government to abolish performance related pay and reintroduce the list of admin and clerical tasks not to be undertaken by teachers and leaders are welcomed, but do not go far enough.  If the government is serious about raising the achievement of all pupils, then it must be serious about reducing teacher workload and improving wellbeing. This requires urgent changes to the current punitive accountability regime, a plan to reduce class sizes, increase PPA time, and a faster solution to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.  Such sensible measures, accompanied with appropriate funding and resources, will reduce teacher workload to more manageable levels, increase morale, improve teacher professionalism and aid retention. 

“The NEU will continue putting pressure on the government to take immediate action to reduce workload and we will intensify our campaign to achieve the reductions needed by our members.”

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