DFE Teacher Workload Diary Survey

This survey shows an astonishing increase in the hours that teachers are working on Michael Gove’s watch.

The average primary teacher is now working nearly 60 hours per week, only slightly behind the average primary head teacher at 60.2 hours, and an increase of 9 hours per week since 2010. Secondary head teachers average 63 hours and the average secondary classroom teacher is working nearly 56 hours a week, nearly 6 hours a week more than in 2010. This is simply unsustainable.

Many thousands of good teachers are leaving the profession and education is being damaged as a result.

This is an issue that should concern everyone. Our children deserve enthusiastic, energetic teachers, not overworked and stressed ones.

Publication of the DfE findings (which only happened as a result of NUT pressure), is timely, coming as it does before talks open between the Government and teacher unions. The NUT will be pressing in those talks for serious Government action to address this unsustainable workload. This will require a change of culture.

An NUT/YouGov survey of the teaching profession, published in January 2014, showed that two-thirds of teachers (63%) said that more than a fifth of their workload does not directly benefit children’s learning. This cannot be a proper use of teacher time. Teachers need to be free to concentrate on their lessons, not spending excessive time compiling evidence that they are doing their job or planning or collecting data to a degree which does not support learning.

Other Key findings from the DfE Survey

  • For a primary classroom teacher, 19 hours of teaching per week generates a massive 22.6 hours of planning, preparation and assessment.  For secondary classroom teachers the planning/assessment time is only slightly less than the teaching time.
  • Both primary and secondary classroom teachers work the equivalent of a day every weekend (nearly 8 hours for primary and more than 6 hours for secondary). Both categories also work nearly a day per week during the time before school and after 6pm (over 6 hours for primary and almost 6 hours for secondary).
  • Despite the provision in teachers’ contracts that they should not routinely undertake clerical and administrative tasks, on average primary classroom teachers are spending over 4 hours per week on this inappropriate work, and secondary classroom teachers over 2 hours.