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Commenting on figures released by the TUC to mark Work Your Proper Hours Day today, which suggest that teachers work among the longest hours of any profession, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Teachers yet again rank among the professions working the highest number of hours, with the TUC’s figures suggesting both an increase in the number of teachers undertaking unpaid overtime in 2021 and a rise in the number of unpaid extra hours worked.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated the problem of excessive workload within teaching still further, with nine in ten teachers in our recent teacher wellbeing survey saying they have experienced more work-related stress in the last year and over half saying that levels of workload are the biggest contributor to the growth in that stress.

“At the same time, teachers are working far in excess of their contracted hours for what, in real terms, amounts to less pay, thanks to the Government’s decision to impose a pay freeze on the profession for 2021/22.

“Teachers wanting or needing to reduce their hours, in some cases as a direct consequence of the impact of excessive workload and working hours on their health and wellbeing, often face significant barriers. Half of teachers in our survey said that their school does not provide flexible working opportunities. Member casework reveals that even where flexible working is offered, the reality is often very far from supportive or sufficient to meet teachers’ needs and offer them a genuine work/life balance.

“Providing world class education for children and young people does not and should not need to be at the expense of teachers’ health and welfare. Teachers deserve a better deal on their working hours, workloads and pay.”

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