Page 12 - Independent Schools Magazine
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 Workload increasing for staff ~ NEU poll
Independent school staff are having to give up an increasing amount of their free time to manage heavy workloads, and to deal with queries from parents, according to a survey by the National Education Union (NEU).
The survey of over 1,000 teachers and leaders in independent schools found 70% (69.1%) said their workload has increased over the past year.
Almost a third (29.2%) said that they are expected to respond immediately when they are contacted by a parent out of school.
Forty- ve per cent of respondents said their school does not have a policy in place to deal with parental contact out-of-hours, meaning that many are expected to respond to emails and texts from parents during evenings and weekends.
Survey stats:
The National Education Union surveyed 1,157 teaching staff (teachers, members of the leadership group and heads) working in independent schools in the UK in October 2017. Amounts are given alongside percentages.
Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “All education staff must be allowed a healthy work-life balance and be given the time to switch-off after a working day or week. The fact that so many independent school staff are not being allowed to is unacceptable.
“Teachers’ workloads are already unmanageable without the added pressure of being expected to respond to emails from parents during evenings and weekends. Schools need to ensure that policies and procedures are in place to help staff deal with work outside of core school hours.”
Almost a quarter (22.17%) of independent school staff are spending the equivalent of up to two working days (15+ hours a week)
on activities related to their job during their evenings and weekends. Eighteen per cent are spending between 11-15 hours a week working outside their core school hours.
More than a quarter (28.93%) spend between 16 and 25 hours a week carrying out other activities related to their job, such as administration or marking. Almost a  fth (18.10%) spend over 30 hours a week doing so – the equivalent of over four working days a week spent on administration.
Eighty per cent reported that they must work extra hours because their workload demands it, and half said they are expected to. Almost 60% (58.1%) said their school has no policy, system or process in place to help manage their workload.
 When parents contact you directly, are you expected to respond immediately or only in ‘school hours’?
    Immediately
29.28%
308
      School hours
62.64%
659
    Parents don't contact me
8.08%
85
     Answered
1,052
     Skipped
105
     In your most recent working week, how many hours approximately did you spend carrying out other activities related to your job?
   1-5 hours
11.71% (132)
   6-10 hours
15.08% (170)
       11-15 hours
16.06% (181)
   16-20 hours
16.42% (185)
       21-25 hours
12.51% (141)
       26-30 hours
10.12% (114)
   30+ hours
18.10% (204)
   Answered
1,149
  Skipped
8
  Has your workload increased over the past year?
      Yes
69.10%
785
    No
30.90%
351
    Answered
1,136
   Skipped
 In your most recent working week, approximately how many hours did you spend on activities related to your job out of your contracted hours (e.g. evenings, weekend)?
     None
4.61%
53
     1-5 hours
24.00%
276
       6-10 hours
30.78%
354
       11-15 hours
18.43%
212
     16-20 hours
11.13%
 5.22%
128
      21-25 hours
60
     26-30 hours
2.17%
25
       30+ hours
3.65%
42
      Answered
1,150
   Skipped
7
    If you work extra hours is it because: (please tick all that apply)
    Your school demands you to
21.11%
240
       Your workload demands it
80.39%
914
    You take on extra work because you want to
14.69%
167
       It is expected that you do
50.04%
569
    Answered
1,137
  Skipped
20
  Does your school have the following? (Please tick all that apply)
   Work-life balance policy
Work-life balance/well-being committee
6.18%
67
    Well-being policy
25.18%
273
   9.59%
104
    Regular workload survey of staff
2.95%
32
       Workload impact assessment of changes
0.74%
8
   Workload reduction plan based on workload survey
0.65%
7
   Regular conversations about workload reduction in 121s or staff meetings
4.89%
53
    IT that enables you to reduce workload (eg for lesson planning/marking...) – please give more details
9.69%
105
   Other ways of measuring/managing workload
3.69%
40
    There is no policy, system or process in place to manage workload
58.12%
630
      Answered
1084
  Skipped
73
 Does your school have a policy which sets out the protocol for dealing with out of hours’ parental contact?
21
       Yes
24.59%
282
    No
45.42%
521
     Don't know
29.99%
344
      Answered
1,147
  Skipped
10
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