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Can we finally bring an end to crushing levels of workload?

Let’s restore school leadership as a labour of love rather than a role which crushes dedicated professionals through relentless levels of workload, says Paul Whiteman
Image: Adobe Stock

Leading a school and laying the foundations for children to flourish is bound to take hard work, not to mention considerable talent. But the immense job satisfaction means this is a labour of love – or so the story goes.

Increasingly, however, the line between the hard work anyone would expect and truly crushing levels of workload is being crossed.

Last year’s Working lives of teachers and leaders report commissioned by the Department for Education (Adams et al, 2023) found that school leaders’ average working week was almost 57 hours, with 42% working more than 60 hours. Almost three quarters (72%) of leaders and teachers said their workload was unacceptable.

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