Teachers spending 25 hours on extra activities

SECOND-LEVEL teachers spend an average of 25 hours on non-teaching work every week.

Dealing with discipline in class is the next biggest burden on their workload, a survey has found.

Most second-level teachers are contracted to work between 18 and 22 hours of timetabled classes a week, depending on other duties they might have.

While the research for the Teachers’ Union of Ireland shows the average teacher spends 19 hours a week in timetabled classes, some work 47 hours when teaching and non-teaching duties are combined.

More than half the time spent on non-timetabled work is dedicated to preparing for classes, administrative duties and correcting students’ work, with an average of almost six hours a week spent meeting individual students, planning with colleagues, organising extra-curricular activities and supporting students with special needs.

The research among almost 200 TUI members in vocational, community and comprehensive schools found the areas in which most teachers believe the workload has increased in the last five years were administrative duties and school planning.

A parallel survey of 1,000 adults by Behaviour and Attitudes found that two-thirds of the general public believe the range of teachers’ duties has increased over the last decade. But half of them estimated a typical second level teacher does less than 14 hours non-teaching work a week.

TUI general secretary Peter MacMenamin said the survey among members shows more and more time is robbed from the primary roles of teaching and learning by increasing bureaucratic burdens, which places the overall quality of the learning experience at risk.

“The volunteerism of teachers is also hugely endorsed in the findings,” he said.

The two-thirds of teachers who are involved in extra-curricular activities are most likely to help at organising games, musicals, drama and school trips.

The workload of teachers will be among topics of debate at the TUI annual congress in Cork from tomorrow until Thursday.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland holds its annual convention in Killarney over the same three days, and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation annual congress takes place in Letterkenny from today until Wednesday.


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