Support staff in schools are doing more overtime

The National Education Union (NEU) has taken a close look at the workload that support staff in schools deal with. The results are quite alarming and showcase why so many teaching assistants, administrators and other professionals can struggle.

The survey asked 1,700 people for insights into their working day. An incredible 78% do regular overtime every single week. Surprisingly a very large number of this time is given up for no extra pay.

How much overtime do support staff do?

Just under a third of the respondents (32%) reported that they do more than two extra days of work per month. Some staff do even more than that though with 13% claiming they do as much as seven extra hours per week.


Do staff miss out on breaks?

Support staff in schools are regularly missing out on their statutory breaks as a result of the additional workload. The survey states that 33% of responders rarely or even never take their entire lunch break. In addition 40% rarely or never get their breaks in the middle of the morning and afternoon.

An array of different tasks can result in lost breaks. For example teaching assistants may need to dedicate some of this time for SEN supervision with children. They could also find themselves with lunch duty, overseeing detention, or even running a lunch club.