Government must act to address school workload crisis

Commenting on information from the Government’s long-expected Working Lives of Teachers and Leaders survey, which has been leaked and reported in the media, Helen Osgood, Community’s National Officer for Education & Early Years, said:

“The Government now has its own evidence of what we, as teaching unions, have long been aware of.

“This incontrovertible evidence lays bare the reality of life in schools and means that the Government can no longer claim that there is no crisis in education. Its own evidence shows a workforce that is demoralised, overworked and underpaid.

“The exodus of teachers leaving the profession is the stark consequence of this.

“The fact that this evidence has been withheld from the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is further evidence that the Government is trying to manipulate the teacher pay process and paint an unrealistic view of the working lives of school teachers and leaders.

“Through the STRB process, Community has been calling for an increase in planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time from the current 10% to 20%. The Government has failed to make any attempt to increase PPA time, which would be a major step in the right direction.

“Community has urged the Government for an action plan to address the long hours that teachers work, which this report highlights.

“The long hours culture of working evening and weekends needs to stop. Teachers being stressed in this way is a very real, foreseeable health and safety risk in schools that must be risk assessed to prevent further damage to our members’ health.

“The Government needs to act now, to end the workload and recruitment and retention crises, before staff shortages mean that there aren’t enough teachers or leaders for schools to function effectively.”

Further information

The Working Lives report covers data collected from 11,000 teachers and leaders, gathered during the spring of 2022, and was initially supposed to be published in January 2023.

Community’s STRB submission of March 2023 can be found here.

Community is the union for education and early years professionals, representing teachers, headteachers, education, school support staff and early years staff.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.

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