Maximum hours limit planned for teachers in Latvia

The Ministry of Education and Science (IZM) sees the setting of maximum permissible hours of instruction as a possible solution to teacher overload,  IZM leadership said in a press conference on Wednesday, March 6.

The workload for teachers is currently set at 36 hours per week, but a third of teachers, or 34%, work more than one workload. One in four teachers, on the other hand, work less than half-time.

According to the Ministry, it is the in-class hours that make up the overload - a large proportion of teachers spend an average of 34 hours a week on instruction. The IZM proposes to set the maximum number of hours of instruction allowed. These limits could vary depending on the school's leadership and subject.

The lowest permitted proportion between lessons and other duties could also be determined, the IZM said. Following these principles, the school principal could build a load composition for each teacher individually.

According to the Ministry, the new load-balancing model does not provide for a “high need” for new educators. Instead, consideration should be given to making better use of the existing teacher resources.

The Ministry will invite the social partners to agree to move to another methodology for measuring timescale and load composition.

Once the burden-sharing in mainstream education is agreed upon, the IZM plans to also target other groups of teachers, including support staff.

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