Trainee teachers should focus on using existing resources rather than developing their own plans for every lesson they teach, new Department for Education advice says.
The guidance comes in a report which highlights areas where initial teacher education (ITE) providers should reduce workload for trainees, NQTs and teachers early in their careers.
The report, Addressing teacher workload in Initial Teacher Education, sets out questions and information designed to give ITE providers and managers a "starting point" to review their practice.
It calls for them to “challenge all practices and processes and remove those that have become established through custom rather than evidence of what works”, adding that this is “particularly relevant in relation to lesson planning”.
The report urges ITE providers to focus on developing the curriculum planning skills of trainees by “reducing the expectation on trainees to develop their own individual lesson plans and curriculum resources for every lesson they teach”.
Managing teacher workload
It adds: “Instead, trainees should focus on evaluating, using and adapting (where necessary) existing high-quality resources, schemes of work and textbooks”.
The report calls for ITE providers to concentrate on the purpose of planning, and how trainees can plan across a sequence of lessons.
They should only start to develop their own plans, when they are required, after they have “a good knowledge of existing resources and sequencing of lessons”, it adds.
The report comes as education secretary Damian Hinds joins forces with Ofsted, education unions and other organisations to set out steps where schools can reduce the burden on teachers.
It also says that ITE providers should embed sessions on managing workload as part of the transition from trainee to NQT.
The report highlights the role of ITE providers in helping the wider education system to address workload issues, giving examples of organising partnership conferences, and helping to spread key messages.
And a section on mental health calls for work to see whether workload issues are part of the reason why trainees withdraw from or defer their course.
It adds: “This would include the origin of any workload issues and how deferred trainees are then best supported to successfully complete their training.”