A new government taskforce is aiming to cut every teacher's workload by five hours a week.

It's hoped the new initiative will help under-pressure teachers by introducing flexible working.

The taskforce will meet for the first time this week, amid long-standing concerns about teacher recruitment and retention.

Earlier this year, a leaked government report revealed some teachers are working 60 hours or more a week - with a quarter considering leaving the profession altogether because of the "unacceptable" high workload.

While trade unions have welcomed the taskforce, there is scepticism among school leaders about whether ministers have the will to bring "systemic change".

Earlier this year, strikes came to an end after teaching staff in England accepted a 6.5% pay rise.

The 14-member body will include representatives from the four main teaching unions - as well as teachers, academics and experts.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it was impossible to continue with a situation where recruitment targets for trainee teachers are constantly missed - with many of those who join the profession leaving early in their careers.

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