As never before, education policy is being driven by ideology not evidence. Every Government announcement is laden with myths about schools, teachers and our education system.

It’s time to get the facts.

EduFacts aims to challenge Government and media rhetoric by presenting the facts about what’s going on in our schools, our education system and in the teaching profession.

Each EduFacts factsheet presents a series of short factual statements about a topical education issue with the supporting evidence to back them up.

From teachers’ pay to school holidays, from academies to school funding, EduFacts will bring you the facts, not the myths about what’s going on in education.

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  • It is a popular misconception that teachers only work from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • The school day may be shorter than the standard office day but teachers put in extra hours before and after the school day and at weekends. Teachers spend many extra hours planning lessons, marking work, assessing pupils, inputting data, organising and running extra-curricular activities and taking on wider-school roles and responsibilities.
  • Research carried out in 2012 by 1 showed that amongst 1,600 primary and secondary teachers, 55 per cent regularly spend more than 56 hours a week engaged in their work during term time. Even taking into account adjustments for school closure periods when teachers continue to work an average of 13 hours per week, the findings show an annualised average of 48.3 hours per week.
  • The DfE’s own workload statistics2 show that average weekly working hours for almost all categories of teachers exceed 50 hours.
  • Working hours in excess of 50 hours a week, combined with continual change and upheaval and denigration of the profession by politicians makes for a stressful mix.
  • Teachers’ working hours are also inflexible. It is very difficult for teachers to take time off during term time, for example to attend an event at their own child’s school.
  • An ETUC(E) survey3, the findings of which were published in May 2013, showed that out of 37 European countries, UK teachers scored highest for ‘burnout’. This is bad for pupils and schools as well as for the teachers themselves. It also gives the lie to the idea that teachers only work from 9am-3:30pm.
  • The findings of the latest TUC Biennial survey of union safety reps4, showed that stress was one of the top concerns for 80 per cent of respondents from the education sector.

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