Unlike other occupations, teachers are denied paid overtime and often do not have other flexible working opportunities. Dr Patrick Roach asks whether it is time to put a legal limit on our working hours…


With each report of falling teacher training recruitment (DfE, 2022) and plummeting levels of wellbeing (Education Support, 2022), the argument for a contractual limit on teachers’ working hours becomes ever stronger.

There is an abundance of evidence that teachers are undertaking additional responsibilities unpaid, without protection of the limits on directed time, and in the context of an anachronistic and abusive open-ended contract which means that teachers’ workloads and working hours operate without limit.

Our Big Question Survey (NASUWT, 2022), meanwhile, found that workloads had increased for nine out of 10 teachers in the previous year and that in a typical mid-term week, full-time teachers were working 57 hours on average.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here