Socialist Worker

Action on 35-hour week

Issue No. 2196

Delegates unanimously passed a motion calling for strike action to combat excessive workloads.

Teachers’ working hours are rising, largely because of the paperwork that goes with the testing regime in schools.

Many teachers also said that their bosses expected them to take on extra duties—and carry them out for free.

Rinaldo Frezzato from Waltham Forest, east London, told the conference, “Every year we pass a similar motion condemning excessive workloads. Yet we are further away than ever from a solution.

“The situation has got worse—we need a ballot over limiting teachers’ workloads.”

Conference backed his call for a limit on teachers’ working hours to 35 hours a week, and for a national ballot for strikes if necessary to achieve it.

Delegates also denounced schools secretary Ed Balls’ plan to introduce “licences” for teachers that would be renewed every five years.

Teachers already have to gain a number of qualifications to teach and must then successfully complete a year as a newly qualified teacher.

They are subject to management systems that monitor their work.

Delegates rightly see the licence plan as an attack on teachers that has nothing to do with improving education.

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