Teachers should take less holidays and work a 38-hour week, says MP.

A CALL for teachers to work a 38-hour week and have less holidays like “the rest of the economy” has sparked uproar.

Liberal MP Andrew Laming reportedly made the comments to Fairfax Media while discussing Gonski 2.0.

“Teaching needs to operate like other jobs, with the same hours, days and weeks as the rest of the economy, rather than cluttered school hours where there is little beyond the face-to-face time,” Mr Laming told Fairfax.

When commenting on the hours teachers undertake prep work and marking from home he said:

“There is just no evidence that the work they are doing at home makes any difference, and there’s no evidence that what they do at home is actually where you’d want a teacher focusing their efforts.”

The comments sparked the outrage of educators and commentators who pointed out the high rate of pay politicians receive for sitting just 64 days in parliament.

Education consultant Alan Wright tweeted: “If teachers worked 38 hours per week as suggested by Andrew Laming, the education system would crumble into a chaotic mess within a week.”

Dr Laming was later forced to clarify his comments, saying they had been misrepresented, and he offered his own solutions:

“First we must offer teachers the chance to go home like the rest of us and switch off.

“Second, the bulk of lesson planning needs to shift out of term time, even if teachers are on-site over school holidays. That is when the pupil-free days should occur.

“Third, I want principals to change culture tomorrow and be given a slice of the Gonski resources to fund the extra hours that definitively improve student outcomes.

“Fourth, we need an explicit focus on the children that do not gain a year of learning in a calendar year, and not dump the responsibility solely on classroom teachers who are forced to pass the parcel.

“Finally, states and territories must replace annual incremental pay rises with a genuine teacher-designed merit-based model rewarding sub-specialisation and further education. It should include enough time for professional learning communities to engage in formative evaluation. To avoid losing our best teachers, a pay rise after the age of 30 must be possible.”

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One Comment

  1. In relation to article on teachers working a 38 hour week and taking less holidays, I totally agree. I work in a large secondary school and I know that teachers do a lot of extra work but I dont think that many if any do an extra 6-7 weeks to make up the holidays that they get over and above the usual work who is entitled to 4 weeks annual leave and probably works extra long hours and for much less pay, without yearly increments as well. I am and education support staff member and we do get paid in the holiday breaks but we accrue annual leave within our work hours to be entitled to this. If we dont accrue enough time we dont get paid, unlike teachers. Education support staff are under rated and underpaid and usually work extra hours without extra pay or time in lieu. i would like to see more teachers made to come in for set days duringthe term break and prepare for their classes. i think having the curriculum days in the term breaks is a great idea after all we are here for the students and to get the best outcomes for them and this would be another day that the students are learning in the classroom during the term. i think that there are a lot of changes that can be made for the better but good luck with trying to change the way things are.

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