University College London has published a new paper looking into teachers’ working hours. This is part of a larger project funded by the Nuffield Foundation investigating teacher health and wellbeing. The report’s headline finding is that the total working hours of teachers in England has remained broadly unchanged over the last 25 years and that, since 1992, teachers have worked a consistent average of around 48 hours per week.
This is not to say, however, that teacher workload is not high, simply that the current levels of workload are not a new phenomenon. The average of 48 hours is still at the top end of international comparisons, while the survey found that 40% of teachers usually work in the evening and 10% usually work at weekends.
For those governing, placing teacher workload within an historical context offers an interesting perspective, but international comparisons also highlight high levels of teacher workload compared to other developed countries.