We detected you haven’t selected to personalise the site.

Please select a preference

Patrick Roach at NASUWT Young Teachers' Conference 2023 BANNER

Our 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 were 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.

The NASUWT National Executive has agreed that it will be consulting members over the coming weeks to take forward its campaigning, up to and including industrial action, to secure a Better Deal for Teachers on pay, workload, working hours and wellbeing.

NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:

“Over the last year, we have heard many warm words but seen too little action from the Government on the key concerns affecting teachers and headteachers.

“There is increasing anger once again from our members about the lack of progress being made by the Government on workload, working hours, working conditions and pay.

“There is now a mountain of evidence that Ministers cannot continue to ignore, showing how excessive workload pressures and long working hours, driven by inadequate funding levels and a high-stakes inspection and accountability system, are driving teachers and headteachers to breaking point.

“NASUWT members welcomed the concessions we secured last year from the Government to establish a Workload Reduction Taskforce; but, as we said at the time, immediate action was also needed to remove the daily grind of workload pressures which are damaging the health and wellbeing of teachers. To date, the Government has delivered nothing.

“The Education Secretary needs to demonstrate that she understands the urgency of the situation and come forward rapidly with robust measures that will have a significant and material impact on improving teachers’ working conditions.

“We are also concerned that the limitations imposed on the pay review body by the Education Secretary have removed any last shred of confidence that the Government would be at least willing to consider the need for a programme of pay restoration for teachers.

“The Government appears to be content to stand by and allow teachers and headteachers to work longer and harder for less, and to watch as the profession is driven into the ground.

“In our latest National Teachers’ Poll, teachers reported being denied their basic contractual rights, including having a lunchbreak and time to switch off from work in the evening and at weekends.

“It is not acceptable for Ministers to allow this situation to continue.

“The Government has allowed employers greater freedoms and flexibilities. But, the result is that many teachers are being treated so shoddily that they are either being made unwell or are quitting the job entirely.

“If the Government will not take the action needed, the NASUWT will not hesitate to support our members in doing so.”


Please confirm

Please login

Please login

To use this feature you need to be logged in, please login now to continue