There’s this hash tag…… It is full of the usual moans from teachers about being over worked. Stimulated by another slightly off kilter message from our beloved Gove.
Gove has been blamed for more paperwork – but the reality is a slimmer SEF for ofsted – removed any obligation to do app – try and find it on dfe website. He has cut paperwork – schools are creating it faster than he can remove it.
Teachers are contracted to work 1265 hours over 195 days at the direction of the Head. It’s called Directed Time. It equates to 32.5 core working hours per week. There are 37 working hours in the week – will teachers who ‘work to rule’ honour the other 4.5 hours per week.
As salaried employees ( generously rewarded) teachers are to do the job not the hours. The dispersal of holidays means you fall outside the European working time directive.
I asked a few people I know to figure out their average working week;
I’ll use mine as a rule of thumb: I have a very very generous package. 35 days leave plus bank holidays plus the non bank holiday days between Xmas eve and new year. Which gives me about 9 weeks. Many people get 7 weeks which is typical.
I usually work from 9 to 6 with lunch on the fly, then from 8 to 10 in the evening about 55 hours a week – which is what it takes to do the job.
55 hours for 43 weeks. That is 2365 hours a year .
Spread that over your 39 weeks and you get 60 hours a week.
Fact: you work exactly as hard as most other professionals on similar pay. Even if you are a head teacher. You are not hard done to or put upon.
Let’s look at other perks of the profession:
- Five days ring fenced for professional development.
- No worries about child care in school holidays.
- In general good job security.
- No revenue related element of your salary ( no OTE )
- Very clear and generous redundancy procedures
- Six months full sick pay, Six months half pay.
- One of the most generous pension schemes in existence, were you r employer makes a significant extra contribution.
I know the teaching profession works hard. I know it’s demanding.
But: I also had colleagues who refused to do what their head reasonably requested.
So my plea:
Get your facts straight – point out to Gove that he is dead right about directed time.
Turn your back on and challenge the jobsworths who do exist in the profession.
Stop the ill-conceived rants about unfair working conditions.
Read the hash tag feed back – the public won’t see it as the lament of an overworked profession. they will read it as the best articulation of incompetence in managing workload and further evidence of teachers as people who are very busy achieving very little .
How about we devote our efforts to shouting a different reality:
Teaching is a great profession, it is a challenge and a privilege. It requires sacrifice and dedication. But in the end , the benefits outweigh the sacrifices and we are proud to serve the children and families of our country.