THE workload of teachers in North Devon has shown an “astonishing increase” according to the National Union of Teachers local secretary.
Tim Hodge, joint divisional secretary for North Devon, has commented on the teacher workload diary survey which shows teachers are working on average a 55 hour week.
The average primary teacher is now allegedly working nearly 60 hours per week while secondary heads work 63 hours and secondary teachers 56.
“No one enters the profession expecting a 9 -5 job, but working in excess of 55 hours a week and during holidays is entirely unacceptable,” said Tim.
“Many teachers feel totally overwhelmed and it is hardly surprising that two-in-five leave the profession after their first five years in the job and morale is at an all-time low. 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.”
The publication of the results come just before talks between the Government and teacher unions in which the NUT will be pressing for action over unsustainable workloads.
“The survey also showed teachers and heads reporting time spent on unnecessary and bureaucratic tasks,” said Tim. “In December 2013, an NUT-commissioned survey of the teaching profession showed almost two-thirds of teachers (63%) said 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.”