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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

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Urgent action needed to tackle long hours and crushing workload among school staff says NAHT

Responding to new research by the TUC to mark Work Your Proper Hours Day, which found that UK employees worked £26bn worth of unpaid overtime in the last year - with teachers top of the list, Paul Whiteman, general secretary at school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“Teachers and schools leaders are dedicated professionals who give so much of themselves to improving the life chances of children and young people. Increasingly, however, the line between hard work and truly crushing levels of workload has been crossed, with the government’s own research last year showing 50-60 hour working weeks are common.

“This is harming the wellbeing and mental health of dedicated professionals who have at the same time faced a decade of real-terms pay cuts, and is a key factor in fuelling the severe recruitment and retention crisis.

“It’s vital the Workload Reduction Taskforce set up by the government as part of the deal to settle last year’s dispute with education unions agrees further tangible action to ease workload and reduce working hours and that its proposals are implemented by ministers.  Immediate action to reduce workload and stress associated with a broken inspection system is an urgent priority.

“This must be supported by proper government investment to address issues like funding, SEND provision and underfunding of public services which support families - all of which contribute to heavy workload for school leaders and their staff.”

First published 23 February 2024