Government Still Not Doing Enough to Address Teachers’ Key Concerns

NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union’s latest polling of teachers in England has found that excessive workload and working hours are an escalating problem, whilst basic employment rights are being ignored.

The NASUWT National Teacher Poll was conducted in January 2024. 7,000 teachers working in state-funded schools and academies in England were questioned.

  • 72% of respondents said their workload had increased since the start of the academic year. 27% said that their workload had stayed the same during the same period.
  • 65% of respondents said they had raised concerns about their workload with their school. However, 72% said that no measures had been put in place by their school to remedy concerns raised.
  • Ofsted was rated as the biggest driver of workload by 60% of respondents. School/employer policies and procedures (50%), lack of funding (48%), specific Government policies (39%) and lack of support for pupils’ behaviour and mental health (35%) were amongst the other highest rated workload drivers.

60.4% of respondents report that on average their working hours each week during term time was between 50 hours and 69 hours. 20.9% of respondents reported weekly average hours of 60-69 hours. 4.1% reported their average working hours of between 70 hours and 79 hours per week.

Only 10% of respondents rated their working hours as manageable.

  • Examining teachers’ contractual rights, the poll found widespread evidence of basic working time rights being flouted:
  • 37% of respondents said they had not been provided with a Directed time calendar. 81% said that the Directed Time calendar had not been discussed with them and that they had not been consulted on it.
  • 30% of respondents said that they were expected routinely (e.g. daily) to read and respond to emails in the evening, weekends or during holidays
  • 71% of respondents said they did not get a guaranteed and uninterrupted lunch break. 10.8% said they never got a lunchbreak. 13% rarely got a lunch break. And 46% said they had to supervise pupils or undertake other work during their lunchbreak

  • 89% of respondents said the Government is not doing enough to address excessive workload and high working hours.