Workload drives 81% of teachers to consider quitting, union survey finds

Less than 15 per cent of teachers who took part in National Education Union survey said they have a good work-life balance all or most of the time

Martin George

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More than four-fifths of teachers who took part in a union workload survey say they have considered quitting the profession over the last year because of the issue.

The findings of the National Education Union survey were released today as the union’s NUT section prepares to debate workload at its annual conference.

One teacher said that workload was having a “horrific” impact on their family, and was one of the reasons why their marriage was nearing breakdown.

Another wrote: “We are not trusted to get on and do our job. We are accountable at every level which creates more stress and paperwork.

“We are exhausted, and great teachers are being driven out of the profession because they are burned out.”

The findings come amid a continuing teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

Figures last week showed that the number of people applying for teacher training courses this September is down by a fifth compared to the same time last year.

Education secretary Damian Hinds has made reducing workload a priority since he was appointed in January.

The NEU survey found that 40 per cent of the 8,173 respondents are spending more than 21 hours a week working at home at evenings and weekends.

And more than 80 per cent are now teaching more hours than the average teaching hours in 2016.

A third of teachers responding to the survey said their workload had never been manageable during the last year, with less than 15 per cent saying they had a good work-life balance all or most of the time.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, accused the government of burying its head in the sand, and added: “The continual long hours spent on unnecessary work such as data collection for arbitrary government targets is not only demoralising but is unsustainable mentally and physically.

“If the government does not act decisively and soon, the recruitment and retention crisis will seriously damage our children and young people’s education.”

Tes has contacted the DfE for comment.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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