It's about time - ATL's work life campaign

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29 November 2013
Making a difference to children and young people's lives, wanting to share enthusiasm and knowledge of a subject are why many teachers enter the profession and why so many work so hard.

However, our members tell us that the level of hours worked and the type and impact of some of that work are becoming too much for many, resulting in stress, illness, and in many leaving the profession.

This campaign aims to empower our members and colleagues to find ways to tackle the issue, to reduce hours, to reduce unnecessary workload and to give professionals the time and trust back to make the maximum impact on pupils' learning.

Ways to take part

  1. Workload is a complicated and individual issue. Use our work-life tracker to get a sense of the drivers of workload for you and in your workplace, and how these and your work-life balance can change over time. Share the tracker with your colleagues and friends - we're trying to build a broad picture of the issue throughout the education sector, over many weeks and months.
  2. Explore the help and advice on offer. We've developed some advice for some of the major problems that our members say are increasing their workload. Get help here - or let us know if there's an issue you need support on that we haven't covered.
  3. Take a whole school approach: find out how you can work with colleagues to deal with the specific workload issues that cause problems in your place of work.

Member survey

We've been surveying our members to find out about the workload issues that are affecting them. Our survey was sent to almost 47,000 members in England – including teachers, support staff, and senior leaders in maintained schools, academies and free schools. We also surveyed members in FE, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of those who responded:

  • 80% say that their workload is unmanageable
  • 81% say they have considered leaving the profession because of their workload.

We asked whether members take a break of at least 40 minutes during the school day – this is the ATL suggested minimum.

  • 64% say they never do
  • 10% do at least once a week
  • 16% do less than once a week.

We're still gathering data for further analysis - so if you haven't done so already, please take part.

Working with government

Last year following much lobbying, the government opened up the Workload Challenge which received an unprecedented 44,000 separate responses from education staff. Since the election, the government has begun to set up working parties to address three specific areas of concern.

ATL has published briefings for members and leaders on the findings of the working parties. You can also read their reports:

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Workload and hours