This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Address teachers unmanageable workload by increasing protected PPA to 30%

We are facing a teacher retention crisis as the out of school workload is so high it is unsustainable. Help address this and keep experienced teachers in classrooms by increasing PPA so teachers can plan and mark during the working day instead of at home in the evening or at a weekend.

More details

I am an experienced teacher who, like many others, am considering leaving a job I love due to workload. I am currently entitled to 10% PPA (planning & preparation time) this equates to roughly 6 minutes to plan for, resource and mark for each lesson I teach. This is nowhere near enough time to adequately plan and doesn't even contribute to the time I spend marking. All of this work is done at home. Addressing this would keep teachers in the profession as well as enhance the quality of education.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

26,009 signatures

Show on a map


Government responded

This response was given on 24 April 2019

We are supporting the profession to tackle issues which can affect recruitment and retention, including excessive workload, and recognise the importance of teachers having adequate PPA time.

Read the response in full

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) stipulates that all teachers in maintained schools participating in the teaching of pupils are entitled to reasonable periods of time for Planning, Preparation, and Assessment (PPA) as part of their 1265 hours of directed time. PPA time must be provided in units of not less than half an hour during the school’s timetabled teaching week and must amount to not less than 10% of the teacher’s timetabled teaching week.

Schools are able to provide teachers with PPA time exceeding 10% of the timetabled teaching week. This would, however, be at the discretion of individual schools. There are currently no plans by the department to raise this minimum threshold.

The STPCD makes clear that governing bodies and headteachers must ensure that teachers are able to achieve a satisfactory work life balance. In 2014 the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) undertook a review of teachers’ non-pay terms and conditions. After considering evidence from the teaching unions, employers and the Government, the STRB recommended that the principles underlying those conditions, including PPA time and work life balance, remained appropriate and should be retained. The Government confirmed its acceptance of those recommendations.

Reducing teacher workload is a priority for the department and an important element of the recently published teacher recruitment and retention strategy (which can be accessed here:

It sets out how we will encourage school leaders to reduce teachers’ workload, and create the right climate for head teachers to establish supportive school cultures.

We continue to work with unions, teachers, school leaders and Ofsted to challenge and remove unnecessary workload. The new Ofsted framework will have an active focus on reducing teacher workload, with inspectors considering staff workload as part of the leadership and management judgement.

We have provided a range of support, including the workload reduction toolkit, which was developed by school leaders, teachers and other sector experts and includes content about effective planning. It provides accessible materials, including practical advice, tools and case studies that school leaders, teachers and other staff can use to address workload issues in their school.

The workload reduction toolkit can be accessed here:

We also published reports from independent review groups about the three biggest areas of burden for teachers, including lesson planning and resources. This report sets out clear principles, including the need for planning to take place in purposeful and well defined blocks of time and recommends that senior leaders should consider aggregating PPA into larger units of time.

The report can be accessed here:

We have launched the Early Career Framework (ECF), designed in close partnership with teachers, headteachers, academics, the Chartered College of Teaching and the Education Endowment Foundation. The ECF underpins an entitlement to a fully-funded, two-year package of structured training and support for early career teachers linked to the best available research evidence. It has been designed to provide development support over two years instead of one, to ensure new teachers have dedicated time set aside to focus on their development so they can acquire the knowledge, practices and working habits that establish them for a fulfilling and successful career in teaching. As part of this improved package of support, early career teachers will have access to an additional 5% off their teaching timetable in their second year of induction, ensuring that they have dedicated time to focus on their development. By the time the early career reforms are fully in place, we anticipate investing at least an additional £130 million every year to support ECF delivery in full.

Department for Education.