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How many hours do teachers work, and should teachers work?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Corvuscorax, Jan 15, 2020.


How many hours do you work in an average term time week, full time

  1. below 40

    15 vote(s)
  2. 40-50

    52 vote(s)
  3. 50-60

    92 vote(s)
  4. 60-70

    51 vote(s)
  5. 70-80

    15 vote(s)
  6. 80-90

    5 vote(s)
  7. 90-100

    0 vote(s)
  8. above 100

    4 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    What is a reasonable work load, do you think? and how does that compare to the actual work load? If you are currently or were recently working full time in teaching in Uk, please compete. I hear anecdotally that hours are not so bad in Scotland, so I would be interested to hear about that too
  2. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    I reckon it's about 50 odd. assuming you work 8-4 every day that's a 37.5 hour week (same as 9-5), then you do 2 hours a night during weeknights every night and a couple of hours every Sunday.

    I guess the difference with teaching to other industries is that it is imperative you do this or you can't do your job. in other industries if you did the extra (which i used to and had to if you wanted to be better) it was classed as "self study"
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Be interesting to see how TES posters' hours compare with the DfE's Teacher Workload Survey.

    That found, for 2019, that full time classroom teachers in term time averaged 52.7 hours (Table 7 here)
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    i'd say with a quick scan that the workload survey looks accurate.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    Currently work 8:00 - 16:30 (17:30 on a Wednesday). Very, very rarely work on the weekend and the occasional hour or so in the holidays.

    So what's that, about 40?

    Previously worked 6:00 - 18:30 Monday - Thursday, 7:00 - 15:30 on a Friday, 10:00 - 14:00 either Saturday or Sunday and at least 10 hours a week in the holidays.
    That's about 60.

    The difference is remarkable. In my previous employment I had ideas of what I'd like to do at weekends, currently, I can actually do them.
    I have enough energy to play with my kids, I can watch films at night without falling asleep - the difference is massive.....though in all fairness, I'd have expected my kayaking technique to have improved more.

    I was lucky enough to have found the right job.

    Having spent 10 years in mainstream - and a rung down from SLT, I moved in to SEN.

    I'm not suggesting that SEN schools are 'easier' or that this is the reason for the reduction in hours, but the bosses here came from mainstream and are doing everything they can to provide the best education for our pupils - without working the staff to death and despair.

    Without the move, no chance I would have been able to reduce the hours I was working previously. I was wasting my life.
  6. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    In 2015 I vowed never to leave the building with any work. At that point I was collecting my wife from the station so would stay at work till 6 so doing 8:30-6 every day (will never forget the look on the senior leaderships face to find me in the office at 5:45 on a Friday night before half term when they were snooping through the school looking at teacher's desks). If I could not complete the work in the 50 hours assigned then my workload is too high-at the time I was struggling to get everything done I must say, over time I have reduced this. I have been able to get my work load down by finding schools that were more sensible, first a Grammar where I only marked assessed work or leveled work (took a lot of effort to stop writing pointless 'well done, why do you think this is etc' on every page) and now FE where I only mark the practice essays. Does get busy around mock season though so will work harder then
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Loads, but a fair bit of it is fab!
    Nope! We should definitely NOT work!
    strawbs likes this.
  8. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    I think the frontline Teachers should be able to do their job in about 40 hours per week during Term.
    Teaching is exhausting, and in order to remain fresh, they should have "guilt-free" leisure time to relax and recharge themselves.
    They would probably then be more effective doing the important aspect ie. Teaching and could reduce the pointless meetings and other BS dreamed up by the non-teaching "experts" in offices.
    drek, roman_eagle, BetterNow and 4 others like this.
  9. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I think it really depends on the school, and what expectations they have from their teachers.

    Some (usually excellent) schools ask a lot of effort with regards to planning, marking and general contribution to school life.

    Clearly, that is going to have an impact in terms of the number of hours staff (and students) are expected to put in. Those schools will often remunerate appropriately.

    Other schools will not have the same expectations and while they may not be as successful, teachers should always have that option.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    o head that falls out of the sky, are you aware that there are employment laws? To protect people like us from people like you. I have worked in such "excellent" schools. Unless you judge it an "excellent" educational experience for a tutor group to be sat down and told of the suicide of their tutor, then I'm sorry I am going to have to disagree with you about the quality of education recieved in such establishments.
    drek, daisytoo, HolyMahogany and 5 others like this.
  11. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    Absolute nonsense. The schools that are so focused on overly detailed planning, with colour-coding the levels of activity and writing every question that could possibly be asked in the lesson using Blooms etc, are always the worst schools I have worked in. And with this nonsense, you will get triple-marking policies and a pointless assessment every six weeks that needs to be marked in a prescribed colour. You are kept so busy with admin, you don't realise what is truly going on around you! Then it comes to the school fayres, events etc and you're honestly too shattered to care.

    The best school I have worked in operated a 'no marking' policy and planning was resource based (presentations with links etc). Low and behold, this school was rated 'Outstanding' by the idiots contracted by the government and every member of staff was happy to attend the Christmas concert and school production.
  12. sanriku

    sanriku New commenter

    Hi Corvuscorax, I believe you started this in part because I disappeared from a thread due to overwork. I work three days a week - 30 hours in a normal week when there are no mocks or assessments to mark. My usual workload is teaching, marking, planning, behaviour management (a lot needed at my school), pastoral matters and meetings. In assessment weeks you can add another ten hours at least for marking and entering data. And that’s if it doesn’t include an essay paper.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Teacher Tapp shows most people are coming into work around 7.30-8.15am. I don’t see many getting out before 4.30-5pm except on Fridays.
    For me, we need to design a school day which means no additional work is completed outside of those hours. If additional work is needed (open evening, parents evening) then a later finish time would occur.
    The only way that would happen is if there was a bonfire of data collection.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Interesting, with 55 votes cast so far it's pretty much in line with DfE Workload Survey.
  15. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    It is important to note that some votes here (mine included) are being cast from abroad. I'm assuming the DfE report is based on UK teachers only? If I were casting my vote from when I was in the UK, I would have regrettably have had to have chosen 50-60 despite my best efforts to not work after hours and on weekends.
    suem75 likes this.
  16. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Occasional commenter

    I worked much harder when I was younger. 16 years in, and large parts of the job which used to take forever are far less time consuming.

    I get in for 7:30 and leave around 4:00. 42-43 hrs in total, unless there's a parents' evening.

    It helps that I'm secondary and my school has a reasonable marking policy.
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes of course, DfE survey is only of UK teachers.

    But it should be comparable because OP asked that only current (or recent) UK teachers vote

    agathamorse likes this.
  18. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I resigned when I reached 70 + hours per week. (and still didn’t have time to mark KS3 books)

    My 70-75 hours p.w. came about because of some inept and incredibly unthinking management decisions.
    Issue raised with SLT resulted in.....
    ........but OFSTED want ( err actually no they didn’t but..... )
    ........but the children need ( yes, I agreed, “where in my week do I fit that in?”)
    .......You don’t need to mark KS4 every other week (“ well not according to your policy but in 4 weeks time when you’ll be asking all of us to improve results, you will suggest them doing an exam style question each week as a strategy. Should I not be trying to improve results now?”)
    ........you need to learn to cut corners ! (after 30 years in the classroom, I’m cutting corners you probably don’t even know exist)
    .......oh, just do the best you can.( well I am but it’s taking 70 hours a week and your next KS3 marking trawl won’t look pretty )
  19. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    And if you cut too many corners, you end up just going round in a circle.
  20. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    I'm in my 6th year of teaching secondary English now at an Independent School.

    I get in for 7:30 and leave at 4 unless there's parents evenings (around 5 a year) or I run a debate team so there might be 4 occasions where I have to stay til around 7-8 pm for that.

    I don't do any work at weekends typically.

    Roughly around 40 hours on a typical week.

    But my school is on the whole a great school to be at. In comparison to the 2 state schools I worked in itsi a different world. Here are some reasons why I'm not working ridiculous hours any more:

    1) the marking policy allows us to mark how we see fit and isn't overly prescriptive.
    2) the class sizes are far smaller so less books/exams to mark per class.
    3) far less behaviour issues meaning I dont have to spend most frees or after work attempting to email and ring about 8 different people. Mentally there isn't the same toll taken so you can actually have energy to mark and plan as well.
    4) trusting HOD and SLT. We have one observation a year, no learning walks at all, very few book checks.
    5) data entry points are quick and no nonsense.
    6) we only meet once a week as a full staff and roughly once a fortnight as a department so I have extra time in the mornings and after school to get little jobs done.
    7) our homework policy is pretty flexible - again it's up to us and we set everything online - often with things that the pupils can just self mark.
    8) I get roughly 8-10 emails per day whereas i was getting around 40-50 per day in the state schools.
    9) a general atmosphere of support and calm that affects every aspect of the job.

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