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Teachers in the UK work ‘some of the longest hours in the world’

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘British teachers are said to be working some of the longest hours in the world, according to a major new global survey.

    Teachers in the UK who took part in the Global Teacher Status Index said they were working 50.9 hours a week – longer than anywhere else in the 35 country study apart from New Zealand, Singapore and Chile.

    The poll also reveals that the British public underestimates how long the UK teachers work for.

    When the British public was polled, they estimated the number of hours teachers work at 45.9 hours a week, almost a whole school day less per week.’

    And the government’s answer to this long-standing issue is to cut down on the paperwork for bad behaviour.

    What are your thoughts about the issue? What do you think the government should be doing to reduce teachers’ working hours? Do you think teachers are expected to regularly do unpaid overtime, whether it is at school or at home? Do you think this type of culture can be changed from school to school or does it need to come from the DfE? Why do you think the government is reluctant to make significant changes to the working hours of teachers?

  2. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    Yes. They are 'expected' hours of overtime.
    At the start fresh out of uni, full of fervour and idealism and needing to get to grips with short and medium term plans and learning subject knowledge, teachers get exploited by school leaders. But as the years rack up, with the different curriculum requirements every two years, different school performance data collection and analysis systems, the 10 percent of teaching time for planning, marking, data entry time, chasing up students, parental contact, intervention time, attending after school meetings, is not enough unless you teach 3 hours or less a day.

    And certainly never enough for all the different evidence of performance required by different leadership staff/mentors/school liaison staff per teacher who actually stays in the classroom.
    The balance is completely skewed and teachers need to be in charge of their own time. If only to spread or balance the energy requirements for all the different parts of their 'teaching come admin' job per week.

    New leaders are encouraged to make separate demands of individuals that seem to require hours of planning to prepare different types of evidence.
    The evidence often does not even coincide with a teachers current topics or units of teaching which is what makes it so frustrating.
    The deadlines are usually arbitrary and out of sync with the teaching day.
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    Sadly it seems: The government are reluctant to change because uk teachers are owed a fortune in unpaid Overtime pay .. :cool:
    agathamorse, BetterNow and Sir_Henry like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think all schools should have set working hours 8-5pm and be charged with fitting all work in those hours. Any working hours outside those hours should be awarded as TOIL.

    It would resolve the recruitment crisis in an instant.
  5. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    anyone who ever refused to follow a union led work to rule had best not be complaining
  6. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    chrisoakey and agathamorse like this.
  7. yorkie63

    yorkie63 New commenter

    Here in my School in Malaysia most Teachers have to be up at 5:30 am to be in at school at 7am. Then we are expected apart from Friday to be in until 5 or 5:30 pm. This is my reason for leaving. No work life balance at all. Pity because Malaysia is an fantastic place to live. But not to work.
    Alice K likes this.
  8. Sir_Henry

    Sir_Henry Occasional commenter

    I would like to agree but since the unions did almost nothing to prevent performance management, cover spervisors teaching, supply teachers treated as 2nd class, observations, work scrutinies and all the other nonsense then I am inclined to say work to rule is a plastecine chain.
  9. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Perhaps, just perhaps the unions could do "almost nothing" precisely because of attitudes like this.
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  10. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    I would kill to be able to say my day was done at 5.30PM.
    Piscean1, eljefeb90 and agathamorse like this.
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I agree completely.

    However, too many people have a real vested interest in maintaining the status quo. MATs would make less profits as they would have to hire more staff. Schools would have to make massive changes to the endless nonsense that fills up everybody's time. The pernicious data collection would be impossible to maintain.

    Never happen.
    tenpast7 and agathamorse like this.
  12. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    That's what you get when workaholic pole-climbers are fast-tracked into leadership while the chalkface workforce is permanently bent over ready to receive the next initiative.
  13. adam156

    adam156 New commenter

    What really shocks me is the perception of the British public. I've experienced this first hand with people assuming that, as a teacher, I had to be in school about 8am to prepare for lessons and then I would only have to stay around after school until about 5/5,30.

    When they learn the truth about all the extra hours, not to mention the extra stress applied to evenings and weekends and difficulty of finding a work/life balance - they're usually horrified.
  14. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    Having said that, I bet the response they give you is still: “but look at the holidays you get! It’s alright for some!”

    I personally get really fed up with this attitude and comment, especially when it comes from those I know who have 2+ holidays abroad (with their children, during term time) and we have had to settle for camping in the UK for the past 8 years. Or... when it’s those who then start telling me about what they watched on TV last night... I’d LOVE a weeknight in front of the TV...
    slstrong123 and agathamorse like this.
  15. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Just counter that with "didn't you fancy teaching then?"
    Mrsmumbles and agathamorse like this.
  16. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Wow, that’s like the most inspiring plan for change I’ve read in years.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner New commenter

    In my opinion things will never change whilst teachers have such an open ended contract. I'm not sure of the exact wording but it's something about 1265 directed time plus whatever else is necessary to fulfil the role of a teacher. I think there needs to be a massive overhaul of this contract with a maximum of 40 hours a week. This would also have to include a reduction in holidays but at least they really would be holidays and not a time to catch up on paperwork.
    Piscean1, eljefeb90 and Mrsmumbles like this.
  18. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Are you advocating more contact days in the academic year, or more directed non-teaching days?
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner New commenter

    Probably more non teaching days. I just think teacher's working lives should be more like other working lives. I worked outside of teaching for several years. I worked 37 hours a week and had about 7 weeks holidays. I was able to have a social life in the evenings and weekends and holidays were completely restful. Why shouldn't this be the case for teachers? If this were the case then probably recruitment and retention would be far easier.
  20. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    An hourly rate is the only way to stop the exploitation of Britain's teachers.
    Any other form of wages will be exploited by management.
    chrisoakey and agathamorse like this.

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