Commenting on analysis released by the TUC for Work Your Proper Hours Day (Friday), Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"Yet again teachers rank very highly in the list of professions working the most unpaid overtime. This is a problem that has been going on for decades. The Government launched an effort to tackle workload in 2015, but it became a damp squib achieving very little.  

“Successive education secretaries have been unwilling to accept their role in the extraordinary numbers of hours teachers are expected to work, yet workload is the main reason they are seeing the departure of so many teachers, heads and support staff. It is generated by a tick-box culture of excessive accountability, which chews up many hours that could be better spent on child-focused work and causes people to work long into the evening. It is also generated by real-terms funding cuts which push staff to do more with less, and too often having to do so with fewer and fewer colleagues around them.  

“This is not a sustainable situation, and it is leading to burnout. Significant numbers of recently trained teachers are leaving within the first five years of qualifying, invariably citing workload as the issue. Unless the Government gets serious on the root causes, these losses will continue."