Staff wellbeing: Marking and lesson-planning identified as toxic workload

Schools should be aiming for a working week for teachers of no more than 50 hours, with reductions in lesson-planning and marking being made to achieve this.

The suggestion comes from new workload research published this week by the UCL Institute of Education (Jerrims & Sims, 2020).

It highlights 55 hours a week as being a key tipping point that sees teachers’ quality of life declining.

However, the paper says that workplace wellbeing is not linear, and while activities such as lesson-planning and marking can drive poor wellbeing among teachers, workload associated with things like CPD, teaching and collaborating with colleagues has little direct negative effect.

The paper draws upon TALIS 2018 – the Teaching and Learning International Survey – analysing data from 10,000 teachers from five English-speaking jurisdictions, including England and the US.

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