The union’s general secretary Mary Bousted has warned that support staff are “struggling under excessive workloads as much as teachers” after research found many were being expected to teach classes. A heavy workload was “driving experienced and valuable staff from the profession,” she said.

A survey by the ATL found that a third of respondents (33 per cent) worked at least four extra hours per week in addition to their contracted hours.

Almost 12 per cent said that they worked at least seven extra hours per week. Seventy-three per cent said that their schools did not pay for the extra hours.

The research also revealed that more than one in five (21.5 per cent) said their school had made support staff redundant in the past 12 months, and 26 per cent of this group said redundancies had been compulsory.

The survey covered 1,763 support staff, including administrative staff, cover supervisors, exam officers, teaching assistants, librarians, IT managers and pastoral staff.

Read on | Times Further Education