Workload increasing for independent school staff – NEU poll

Independent school staff are having to give up an increasing amount of their free time to manage heavy workloads, and to deal with queries from parents, according to a survey by the National Education Union (NEU).

The survey of over 1,000 teachers and leaders in independent schools found 70% (69.1%) said their workload has increased over the past year.

Almost a third (29.2%) said that they are expected to respond immediately when they are contacted by a parent out of school.

Forty-five per cent of respondents said their school does not have a policy in place to deal with parental contact out-of-hours, meaning that many are expected to respond to emails and texts from parents during evenings and weekends.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:“Teachers’ workloads are already unmanageable without the added pressure of being expected to respond to emails from parents during evenings and weekends. Schools need to ensure that policies and procedures are in place to help staff deal with work outside of core school hours.”

A teacher from the North East said: “Emails from parents come in up to midnight and over the weekend and holidays. I try to take a step back from the workplace and leave these messages until school hours resume, but this often leads to parents becoming impatient and critical so I often end up responding during my own time.”

A teacher from the east of England said: “In the last week before half-term I worked on average 17-hours-a-day. Nobody should be expected to do that.”

More than a quarter (28.93%) spend between 16 and 25 hours a week carrying out other activities related to their job, such as administration or marking. Almost a fifth (18.10%) spend over 30 hours a week doing so – the equivalent of over four working days a week spent on administration.

Read the results of the poll Workload increasing for independent school staff – NEU poll

How would you have answered the questions? How many hours was your last working week? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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