One in five secondary schools and one in ten primaries were braced for disruption this week as members of the NASUWT teaching union began limiting their working time.
Polling by Teacher Tapp shows 14 per cent of secondary teachers and 5 per cent of primary teachers planned to participate in the action short of strike, which began on Monday.
Members are taking the action as part of an industrial dispute over workload. According to a landmark government survey leaked to Schools Week earlier this year, teachers work on average 48.7 hours a week, while leaders work 56.8.
NASUWT’s action includes restrictions on meetings and refusing to be directed to undertake extracurricular activities and midday supervision.
Members will also not do work-related tasks in their lunch breaks, on weekends or bank holidays and will refuse to cover some absences and not cooperate in mock inspections.
Polling data shows 24 per cent of secondary heads said they anticipated some disruption as a result of the action, while 1 per cent said they expected disruption to be “severe”.
Forty-nine per cent of secondary leaders did not expect disruption, however, while 24 per cent were “unsure”.
Ten per cent of primary heads expected some disruption, while 1 per cent again said this would be severe. Sixty-one per cent anticipated no disruption, while 24 per cent were unsure.
Those working in large multi-academy trusts were more likely (22 per cent) to expect disruption than those in small MATs (14 per cent) and community schools (12 per cent).
‘Teachers overworked and exhausted’
Launching the action on Monday, NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said they could “no longer allow teachers to be overworked and exhausted by the demands of the job”.
“Our action will ensure that teachers and headteachers can focus their time on teaching and learning whilst bringing immediate downward pressure on workload and working hours.”
He added that the action “will mean that for the first time in a decade specific measures and protections are being put into place to tackle excessive workload and working hours and to ensure teachers’ health, safety and welfare”.
Polling data shows 14 per cent of state secondary teachers and 5 per cent of those working in state primary schools planned to take part in the industrial action.
Sixty-three per cent of secondary teachers and 72 per cent of primary did not plan to take part, while more than a third of teachers in both phases said the question was “not relevant” or that they could not answer.
Those working in schools rated ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ were twice as likely (14 per cent) as those working in ‘outstanding’ schools to take part in the action.
Teachers aged 50 and over were also twice as likely to take part than those in their twenties.