There is no one answer to how many hours teachers should work. It depends on various factors, including your roles in school, leadership positions, and school policies.
Some general guidelines can help you decide how many hours suit you. This blog post will discuss those guidelines and offer advice on ensuring you are getting the most out of your teaching career!
Related: For more, check out our article on How Many Hours Should An ECT Work here.
How many hours should teachers work?
Teachers can work a maximum of 1,265 hours teaching or on other professional duties in an academic year. They are also expected to work additional ‘reasonable’ hours as part of their professional responsibilities.
All teachers should follow the Working Time Regulations, which say that people should not work more than an average of 48 hours a week.
Are SLT hours different?
Although headteachers, deputy and assistant head teachers are not restricted by the working time limits of 190/195 days and 1,265 hours, governing bodies and head teachers must consider the importance of a good work/life balance for all employees.
Discuss this with your workplace representative and colleagues if you believe you are working excessive hours. It’s improbable that you’re the only one experiencing this issue.
Headteachers, governing bodies, and all teachers must consider achieving a good work/life balance. Together, everyone can make positive changes to reduce workloads.
How many hours should part-time teachers work?
Part-time teachers must be available to work several hours equal to the percentage of full-time pay they receive, 1,265 hours. Part-time teachers must be available to work some hours equal to the rate of full-time income they receive, 1,265 hours.
What is directed time?
The term “directed time” refers to the hours teachers are expected to be at work and available for work as directed by their head teacher. This amounts to 1,265 hours per academic year, spread over 195 days.
Teachers can be required to teach for 190 days, the maximum length of the pupil year. They may also be asked to work five non-teaching (usually inset) days, and the hours worked on those days count towards the 1,265-hour limit.
Teachers must use the following time for directed activities: Teaching time, PPA time, break times (but not lunchtimes, when teachers can’t be required to work), cover, parents’ evenings, after-school meetings, INSET/CPD and anything else which teachers are “directed” to do.
Each teacher should have their own directed time calendar for the next academic year, published in the summer term and consulted with staff via trade unions. This would allow them to see all of their commitments in one place.
Schools are advised to keep a buffer of hours to cover additional, unplanned events and commitments. However, these should be few and subject to discussion with the teaching staff.
Can the government change teachers’ hours?
In Wales, by law, schools must consult with the community and give notice of any changes. There are no such laws in England, but the NEU always advocates for a full consultation and proper notice before any changes are made.
Do teachers have to do lunch duty?
Teachers are not legally required to do lunch duties, but they will usually be given a free school meal if they choose. Some schools also offer to pay teachers who take on lunch duties under separate contracts.
If you are unsure about your employment status or have questions, please get in touch with your school representative or local officer.
Do you have a right to a lunch break?
Yes, teachers who work for more than one school session on any given day are entitled to a break of ‘reasonable length’ between sessions or during the hours of 12 noon and 2 pm.
Leadership group teachers are also entitled to such a break, as close to the middle of the school day as is reasonably practical. Teachers cannot be required to attend management-convened meetings during their lunch break.
How much PPA time do teachers get?
All teachers who teach pupils are entitled to PPA time, a minimum of ten per cent of their timetabled teaching time. Some will have more than ten per cent, and the union supports a PPA time of 20 per cent.
When should PPA be?
PPA has to take place during teaching hours.
Can teachers be asked to cover during their PPA?
No, teachers cannot be asked to cover other classes during their PPA time.
Does the teacher get their PPA back if it is missed?
Yes, the minimum allowance has to be met every week. This also applies to part-time workers. However, there is no reimbursement for loss of PPA time through sickness absence or leave of lack.
Do teachers with leadership areas get additional PPA time?
Teachers are required to have no minimum amount of leadership and management time, but they should be given a level of responsibility appropriate for their workload.
Can teachers be asked to cover for absences?
Teachers can only be required to ‘rarely’ cover for another teacher. This means unforeseen circumstances. A certain level of sickness absence is entirely foreseeable, so a colleague’s absence due to illness is not a good enough reason to require the teacher to cover their shift.
Does ‘gained time’ count as part of our directed time, and can we use it for breaks?
The ‘rarely cover’ STPCD provision applies during gained time as well.
Q: How many hours can teachers be expected to work?
A: There is no exact number of hours that teachers should work as it may vary depending on the school and the individual. Generally, schools are encouraged to provide a reasonable amount of directed time, including teaching time, PPA time, break times (but not lunch duty), and planning, preparation and assessment.
Q: Can the government change teachers’ hours?
A: In Wales, by law, schools must consult with the community and give notice of any changes. There are no such laws in England, but the National Education Union (NEU) always advocates for a full consultation and accurate information before any changes are made.
Q: How many hours is a teacher’s day?
A: This will vary depending on the school and individual. Generally, teachers should have a reasonable amount of working hours, including teaching time, PPA time and breaks (but not lunch duty). Schools are encouraged to provide a buffer of extra hours to accommodate any unplanned events or commitments.
Q: Do teachers get a lunch break?
A: Yes, teachers who work more than one session on any given day are entitled to a break of ‘reasonable length’ between sessions or between 12 noon and 2 pm. Leadership group teachers are also entitled to such a break, as close to the middle of the school day as is reasonably
Q: Do teachers work 8 hours a day?
A: Generally, no. There is no exact number of hours that teachers should work as it may vary depending on the school and the individual. Schools are encouraged to provide a reasonable amount of directed time, including teaching time, PPA time, break times (but not lunch duty), planning, preparation and assessment. The total length