The DfE finally published the 2013 teacher workload diary survey today and it contains a huge range of fascinating findings. At first reading, the following notable findings stood out for me – bear in mind these are all averages:
- Primary school teachers report more average hours (59) than secondary teachers(55). Both figures are huge, and they’re an average! The figures for ‘Academy Teachers’ which is for both phases of school is marginally lower than for maintained secondaries, although this isn’t statistically significant. Overall, primaries spend more time on planning, marking and general admin (especially organising resources) than colleagues in secondary (especially . However, secondary colleagues spend more time on management (especially meetings, maybe because the organisations are larger?) and also on non-teaching pupil or parent contact (especially sport/drama/music, discipline and registration).
- Only about 1/3 of teacher time is spent teaching. Around a 1/3 is on planning, preparation and marking. The rest is management, paperwork, and working with pupils or parents. Primary teachers spend nearly twice as long on professional development as secondary teachers, albeit both are very low (3.8% = 2.2hrs in primary, 2.1% or 1.2hrs in secondary).
- The average teacher spends 12 hrs (secondary) or 14 hours (primary) working in the evening and at weekends. Most of this is marking and planning.
- The majority of complaints about workload were about excessive inputting/analysis/reporting on data and lesson planning that was required to be too detailed. The main reason cited for increased workload was Ofsted followed by general paperwork/bureacracy.
- The top four suggestions for tasks that teachers wanted to spend more time on, in order improve teaching and learning, were: lesson planning, sourcing/creating resources, one-to-one feedback for pupils, collaborative time with colleagues.
- Secondary headteachers report working 63 hours per week versus 60 hours at primary. Not entirely surprisingly, primary heads report spending significantly more time on teaching, planning and marking than secondary colleagues. Secondary heads report spending 10 hours per week in meetings – double that of primary colleagues.
- Secondary heads spend much more time on professional development (5.3% = 3.4hrs) compared to primary heads (3.3% = 2hrs).
- Headteachers’ reasons for workload increase are dominated by Ofsted and DfE policy changes.
- Headteachers would like the DfE to reduce paperwork burdens from Ofsted, reduce the amount of reporting they need to do, and slow down the pace of change.
- Headteachers’ top four suggestions for time they could better spend to improve teaching and learning were: more collaboration time, more training/CPD, more time for research, smaller class sizes.
Some overall thoughts:
- For each 1 hour of actual teaching, teachers only have 1 hour to both plan the lesson and do all of the marking that arises from it. Instead of doing everything that we can to ensure this time is maximised and used efficiently, there are too many schools that are imposing bureaucracy on planning (overly detailed mandatory templates) and marking (where extra feedback is demanded for accountability purposes). This is clearly insane and must stop, as there clearly isn’t a huge amount of money around to significantly reduce teaching hours.
- For each 1 hour of teaching time, primary teachers spend 2.5 minutes on CPD while secondary teachers spend just over 1 minute. To put it another way, secondary teachers spend around 47 hours a year on CPD, while primary teachers spend 85.8 hours. Considering that research suggests that it takes around 50 hours on a single CPD topic to make a sustainable change in practice but that teachers have to use this limited time for lots of CPD topics, there is really no surprise that research suggests that teachers barely improve their teaching after the first three years on the job – everything becomes habitual and automated and these habits are impossible to shift without concentrated time and effort.
For each 1 hour of actual teaching, teachers only have 1 hour to both plan the lesson and do all of the marking that arises from it. < Does this assume working a 55 hour week?
It is based on the time allocation – teachers reported spending the same amount of time teaching as they did on all of the planning and marking. I was just pointing out the 1:1 ratio of that time.
Sounds about right!
So do these hours factor in the 13 weeks holidays as well or just 50 hour weeks for the 39 weeks a year they actually work ???
I believe this is just the 39 weeks and ignores holiday work.
It’s Saturday and I’ve just sat marking a maths assessment for 32 children which took me 3 hours. That is after being on a 3 day residential this week with many issues and evening entertainment. I was up with one children crying all night on the Monday and another being sick in his bed on the Tuesday. We returned to school at 5:30. On the Thursday we had a school disco until 6 which I spent 2 hours taking into account the ticking in and out and obviously policing during the event of 1.5 hours. I turn worked for 3 hours that evening marking, which I was unable to do whilst at the disco turn planning the Friday’s lessons. On Friday I was in school again from 7:30 until 6 then after tea I sat and marked a piece of writing which took me 2.5 hours. This week, half term, I will be planning my science block 6 weeks x2 hours a week, PSHE (x6 lessons) and topic ( X 12 hours) as I am unable to do this term time due to my planning of my daily maths, guided reading and English lessons. So yes we have 13 weeks away from teaching, it doesn’t mean the job stops. But hey, non teachers know best. I worked in the city for 10 years before teaching doing 12 hour days but I was free each evening, weekend and 6 weeks holiday plus bank holidays. I’ve been on both sides, one is easier but the other more rewarding. You decide which.
The survey is just done in a normal term week and does not take into account any work done in the holiday. As a secondary teacher in annoys me when people state we only work 39 weeks. On average I work 20 full days during my ‘holidays’ per year. Mainly on planning, marking official assessments and school trips.