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TEACHERS are working 54 hours a week on average – with about 13 of these falling outside of the normal school day, a survey suggests.
Nearly nine in 10 (87 per cent) of teachers surveyed said their workload has increased over the last year, according to a poll by the NASUWT teaching union.
The survey, of 8,464 NASUWT members across Britain last month, suggests that 83 per cent of teachers believe their job has adversely affected their mental health over the last 12 months.
The findings were released ahead of the union’s annual conference in Glasgow this weekend.
A teacher who responded to the survey said: “I continuously feel anxious, worried, stressed. I can’t sleep. I never see my family.”
Delegates at the NASUWT conference are due to debate a motion which calls on the union to build a campaign to support members to “challenge attacks” on their contractual rights over working hours.
The government’s Schools White Paper, launched in March 2022, called for state schools to deliver at least a 32.5 hour week in a bid to address the “discrepancy of teaching time in schools.”
The motion, which will be heard at the teaching union’s conference, suggests this “is the start of extending teaching hours by stealth.”
NASUWT is calling for a contractual, enforceable limit on teachers’ working hours to ensure staff can enjoy a life outside work.
At the union conference, incoming president Rosemary Carabine is expected to warn that the government is not doing enough to address the shortage of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) graduates going into teaching.
Ms Carabine is due to say: “Governments across Britain are not doing enough, quickly enough, to address these problems. They need to boost salaries and improve pay incentives.
“When will they wake up? There is a teacher recruitment and retention crisis. All teachers deserve a competitive salary – whatever subject they teach.”
NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach said: “We urgently need working conditions that let teachers teach. It’s time for a limit on working hours and an end to abuse at work.
“Urgent reforms are needed to provide clear working rights and entitlements within a national contractual framework of a maximum 35-hour working week.”
The Department for Education (DfE) said it has committed to forming a joint taskforce to reduce workload by five hours per week for every teacher.
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