Teachers are choosing to work part-time to finish marking and lesson planning on their days off, a union leader has said.
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said a growing number of teachers were opting to take “significant” pay cuts and reduce their working hours to four days.
Dr Bousted told iNews that members of the union were taking this step so that they could complete their marking and lesson planning on Fridays and were able to spend more time with their families over the weekend.
Speaking ahead of her union’s annual conference in Liverpool, she said: “So what they do is they go to a point 8 [four days a week], so they spend Friday doing all their work so they can have a free weekend.
“Lots of people told me about that and that’s happening more and more.”
The issue of teachers opting to work part time to manage their heavy workloads will be raised at the conference next week.
Dr Bousted added: “I’m sure members will be standing up and saying ‘I’ve taken a significant pay cut, in order that I can work five days a week, in order to do my job.’”
Half of full-time teachers in England work 40-58 hours a week and a fifth work at least 60 hours a week, a study by the Education Policy Institute showed.
Dr Bousted added: “It’s not surprising that teachers are saying ‘I need an extra day in order just to be able to cope with the workload.’”
Previous research carried out by the TUC showed that teachers work more overtime than any other professions except company chief executives.
After the findings were released, Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that “long and unmanageable working hours” were the biggest single reason cited for teachers leaving the profession.