Why Sheffield teachers are 'at breaking point'

Sixty per cent of teachers in England said that workload is a significant barrier to accessing professional development. Credit: startupstockphotos.com / Creative Commons
Sixty per cent of teachers in England said that workload is a significant barrier to accessing professional development. Credit: startupstockphotos.com / Creative Commons
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Full time secondary school teachers in England work 48.2 hours a week on average- almost 20 per cent longer than the average in other countries- according to a report published today.

Teachers in England spend near the average time teaching lessons, but spend far more time on lesson planning, writing assessments, marking and other non-teaching tasks.

Half of full time teachers work between 40 and 58 hours, and a fifth of teachers work 60 hours or more, according to a new report by the Education Policy Institute.

The report analyses different teaching practices in 36 jurisdictions based on findings in the Teaching and Learning International Survey by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

The only two jurisdictions to report longer average working hours for teachers than in England were Japan and Alberta.

Sixty per cent of teachers in England said that workload is a significant barrier to accessing professional development.

The author of the report and the EPI’s Chief Economist, Peter Sellen, said: “This should be a cause for concern for professional development and teaching quality as well as for the wellbeing of teachers themselves.”

The news comes only a week after the Star revealed that £100,000 was paid in compensation by Sheffield schools in the last three years, including a £40,000 settlement fee for stress.

At the time Simon Murch from the Sheffield office for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said that stress is ‘a big problem in schools’.

He added: “Teachers are at breaking point a lot of the time.”

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