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Teachers' hours underestimated

I was surprised to hear Education Secretary David Blunkett refuse to reduce teachers' working hours because we only work 39 weeks a year.

As the teaching unions have informed him, teachers work approximately 56 hours a week. This gives a yearly total of 2,148 hours. If this total is divided by 52 you arrive at 42 hours a week, more than the 40 hours recommended by the European Union.

Of course, no on works 52 weeks a year. It would therefore be more realistic to point out that even though they have longer "holidays" teachers are typically working 272 hours a year more than someone who works 40 hours a week for 48 weeks.

Most teachers work not only the 39 weeks of the academic year but also a significant proportion of the 13 holiday weeks.

Linda Gray

13 St Agatha's Road, Coventry

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