Teachers work ‘extra 11 hours’ a week

Scotland’s teachers are working 11 additional hours on top of their contracted week, according to a survey carried out by union EIS.

The union asked 3,500 primary and secondary teachers to record their hours over a two-week period. The average teacher was working 46.5 hours – well beyond the contracted 35 hours.

Carried out as part of EIS’s Teacher Workload campaign, the survey has showed that Scotland’s teachers are being stretched, something which a union spokesperson has described as “unsustainable”.

In secondary schools, teachers are spending an average of 8.5 hours a week on preparation and correction, 2.5 hours planning, 2.7 hours on assessment and 1.5 hours on curricular

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “It is clear that the current situation is unsustainable and that urgent steps must be taken by the Scottish
Government, local authorities and national education bodies to reduce the crippling workload burden that is being placed on Scotland’s teachers.

“The workload picture is similar for teachers in all sectors and at all grades, and for teachers on full-time contracts or part-time contracts.

“No matter what the individual contractual commitment, the evidence gathered during the fortnight focus demonstrates that high levels of additional working are the norm for Scotland’s teachers.”

A Scottish Government spokesman responded: “The Scottish Government is working with teachers’ representatives, local authorities and other partners to address concerns around workload.

“The report by the Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy (set up by the Government) identified specific areas where changes need to be made and how we can make sure teachers have the freedom they need to carry on delivering our world-class curriculum.

“We are committed to making sure councils have the right number and highest quality of teachers in our schools which is why we have offered councils £51 million, including an additional £10 million over and above last year’s settlements to support teacher numbers.”