The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) has concluded that teachers in England have one of the highest workloads in the world.

According to the findings of the OECD’s latest survey, England’s teachers are highly motivated by the opportunity to influence children’s development or contribute to society — 93% of teachers cited these factors as major motivations for joining the profession.

However, it found that secondary school teachers in England have heavier workloads and less job satisfaction than their OECD counterparts.

More than half consider their job “unmanageable” the survey found, with teachers working longer hours, for less pay, than those in 35 other countries.

Although they spend one hour per week less than their OECD counterparts on actual teaching, they are spending almost seven hours a week more on non-teaching tasks, such as lesson planning and marking.

Full-time primary school teachers work an average of 52.1 hours per week compared with the 39.4 hours a week worked by primary school teachers in Denmark and 32 hours in Turkey.

In addition, England’s secondary head teachers are more likely to report that a shortage of teachers is hampering quality teaching (38%) than other OECD head teachers (21%).

Commenting on the report, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the UK’s National Education Union, said, “Talis’s findings for England reveal a demoralised workforce, experiencing low pay, long hours, high turnover and heavy responsibilities without the resources or CPD they need to secure high-quality teaching and learning.

“The findings should act as a wake-up call for any future Prime Minister. The Government must end teachers’ unsustainable workload by tackling the high-stakes school accountability system which is fuelling the long hours culture and driving teachers out of the profession.”

Last reviewed 5 July 2019