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Dave Thompson/PA Wire
UK News

Christian teacher urges government to reduce workloads to help students flourish

It comes as new research has revealed a quarter of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week with many claiming to spend as much time on management, administration, marking and lesson planning as they do with pupils.

The University College London (UCL) study looked at data from more than 40,000 primary and secondary teachers, between 1992 and 2017.

Hannah Paige, Head of Maths at College of Richard Collyer told Premier excessive paperwork doesn't aid a child's learning and forces many teachers to take their work home with them.

"A lot of us are completely committed to our job and are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the students through. But there's an awful lot of admin that could be cut down, and paperwork that just really isn't needed, and doesn't help the students in the long run. It's really to satisfy the schools and their systems.

"The classroom is less than half of what I actually do in a week, possibly closer to a third. It's finding the time to do everything else outside of the important bit, which is being there with the students and helping them progress and develop, we all fret and we don't switch off and we spend our Saturdays planning lessons because that's the time we've got to do it. It's not possible to do it in the working day with all the other admin and bureaucracy."

The study found that around 40 per cent of teachers in England often work in the evening with ten per cent usually working at the weekend.

Paige who is also Assistant Director of Faculty of the Sciences, went on to say that although there will always be necessary paperwork to complete, the implementation of "good management structures that streamline processes" can help educators to reduce stress and workload in classes.

Researchers also found that many educators work well into the night, despite government pledges to reduce teacher workloads.

In November 2018 the Secretary of State for Education, Ofsted, ASCL, NAHT, NGA and CST wrote to all school leaders confirming their support to help them reduce workload in schools.

Paige says the government need to understand the pressures teachers are under and take action to reduce workloads within the education sector.

"I think any school structure is still working within the confines of what the government set them as expectations. And it's really hard for an individual institution to buck against that. If nationally, we want to reduce teacher workload, it has to come from a national directive."

"I wonder how many ministers have been inside schools for any length of time to see what teachers fill their time with, and to work to address those things. Quite often, for every one thing that is done to reduce workload, two more requests are made of teachers. And teachers are then struggling to balance the work that they want to do being in the classroom helping young people grow and develop with all the expectations that come from the government and from schools."

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