Limit teaching to four

hours a day, says union
Jessica Shepherd, education correspondent
The Guardian, Tuesday 2 April 2013 19.20 BST

NUT wants teachers' classroom hours
capped at 20 a week amid claims
many hardly see their own children
and work late

Teachers have called for the time they
spend teaching pupils to be capped at 20
hours a week – four hours a day.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT)
passed a motion on Tuesday demanding a
new working week of 20 hours' teaching
time, up to 10 hours of lesson preparation
and marking, and five hours of other
duties, including time spent inputting data
and at parents' evenings.
This would mark a drastic reduction in

although full-time staff must be available for just over 32 hours. the number of hours teachers work has dramatically risen as a result of pressure from the government and the school inspectorate. Richard Rose. Most primary school teachers work more than 50 hours a week during term time. They said they had no time to spend with their children or to eat lunch and complained that they often worked past midnight. A current agreement between schools and unions states that teachers should spend time on "any reasonable activity" their headteacher instructs. The contract between unions and schools states that teachers must be available to work "such reasonable additional hours as may be necessary to enable the effective discharge of their professional duties". a teacher from . teachers claimed at the NUT's annual conference in Liverpool. the conference heard. while secondary school teachers work for about 49 hours.teachers' hours. There is no fixed limit on the number of hours teachers work a week. In the past year.

" he said. said teachers' workload levels were totally unsustainable. think or go to the toilet" in the working day. Christopher Denson. His colleagues had little time to spend with their children. He said many teachers sent emails after midnight because there was no other time to do this. "Clearly teaching depends on good preparation and rigorous marking of pupils' work and there . said the demand was ridiculous and detrimental to the profession's public image. "Teachers undermine the respect of the general public by behaving as an oldfashioned trade union and making unrealistic demands." he said.Cambridgeshire. "It's essential that we act to ensure that what's already NUT policy – a maximum working week of 35 hours – becomes a reality for teachers. "It's come to something that teachers don't have time to look after their own children. a teacher from Coventry." he said. told the conference there was "no time to eat. But Professor Alan Smithers. from the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham.

working hours. The motion also called for a maximum class size of 23 in infant schools and 26 for other age groups. such as Eton where there are eight pupils to each teacher." For the past six months. Teachers said there was a stark comparison between class sizes in fee-paying schools. Teachers do themselves no favours by acting in this way. but to attempt to limit the number of teaching hours when there is a great strain on finances is a ridiculous request." A spokeswoman from the Department for Education said: "By scrapping unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy. They have refused to supervise children in the playground or attend some meetings after school.needs to be an allowance of time for that. pay and pensions. we are making it easier than ever before for teachers to focus their efforts on teaching and learning and getting the very best from their pupils. and schools in the state sector where there are . the NUT has been engaged in action short of striking in conjunction with fellow teaching union the NASUWT in protest over workloads.

It said Gove had demoralised the profession with a "discourse of failure" and carried out government business through private emails. a teacher from Camden. . Gove had "chosen to base policy on dogma. political rhetoric and his own limited experience of education" and made drastic changes to schools without consulting parents. Michael Gove. governors or councils. Teachers shouted "Gove must go" after the no-confidence motion was carried. The NUT unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the education secretary. children.as many as 31 pupils. and called for his resignation. The 1. teachers. The education secretary was "destroying the education of all our children and must go". told the conference. the motion said. Jane Walton. a teacher from Wakefield. Oliver Fayers.000-strong audience heard that Gove had "lost the confidence of the teaching profession … [and] failed to conduct his duties in a manner befitting the head of a national education system".

general secretary of the NUT. said Gove was making teaching a profession that "no one in their right mind would consider joining". - . said teachers had a duty to hold a "failing secretary of state to account". a teacher from Norwich. Nick O'Brien. his "poll tax moment" could be around the corner. Christine Blower. said that if the secretary of state chose to "plough on regardless".north London.