Workload: Most teachers 'working way beyond hours'

​​​​​​​Excessive teacher workload is damaging family life and putting staff mental health at risk, warns Scottish union

Teacher workload concerns have been laid bare by a ‘stark’ EIS union survey

Most teachers are working far more than their contracted hours, according to a survey of more than 12,000 teaching staff.

The finding has prompted concerns about the impact on mental health and family life, and has led to a call for urgent action over a recent national agreement on teacher workload.

Details of the survey by the EIS, Scotland's largest teaching union, have been published today to coincide with the start of its three-day AGM in Perth.


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After the resolution of the long-running teacher pay dispute earlier this year, workload looks set to become the EIS’ biggest priority over the coming months.

Teacher workload 'has serious impact on wellbeing'

The findings of the new survey include:

  • Six out of 10 full-time teachers work more than eight hours extra on top of their contractual working hours each week;

  • Six out of 10 part-time teachers work at least five extra hours per week, and over half of these work more than eight hours extra;

  • One in 4 teachers says that no time is factored in for assessment-related workload in their school working-time agreement (WTA);

  • Six out of 10 teachers say that only some of their assessment-related workload is factored into their WTA;

  • Two per cent of teachers feel that all of their assessment-related workload is factored into their WTA.
     

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Teachers across Scotland have serious concerns about the excessive workload demands that are being placed upon them. These concerns are common across all levels of school, at all grades of post and in all parts of the country.

“Teachers are working many additional hours over and above their contractual commitments, with serious impact on their family life and on their mental and physical wellbeing.”

Mr Flanagan added: “The EIS welcomes the commitments to reduce workload that were written into the recent SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) agreement on teachers’ pay – and we now expect local authorities and the Scottish government to make quick progress in delivering those commitments. The results of our recent survey, together with the debates to be held at AGM over the next three days, serve as a stark warning of the need to lighten the excessive workload burden that continues to be placed upon Scotland’s teachers.

“Addressing excessive workload is as important an issue as pay, if teaching is to be seen as an attractive career for highly qualified graduates.”

Some 59 motions will be debated at this year’s AGM, with concerns over the growing workload burden expected to be a recurring theme.

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