Inspections can add to teacher stress, says Ofsted

Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman warns that the 'data-gathering culture' has 'grown out of all proportion to its usefulness'

Amy Gibbons and John Roberts

Ofsted fears about teacher workload: The inspectorate has raised concerns about teacher wellbeing in its latest annual report

The impact of Ofsted inspections on teachers' wellbeing and stress levels have been highlighted in the inspectorate's annual report.

The report, published today, says: “Teachers ...reported that Ofsted inspections can affect wellbeing and stress levels, especially when senior leaders expect more administrative work in preparation or if they focus too much on data and exam results.”

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Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, warns that the "data-gathering culture"  had "grown out of all proportion to its usefulness".

Ofsted teacher workload fears

She highlights how in Ofsted's new inspections, the inspectorate no longer looks at a school's internal data, and that its framework assesses how well school leaders take their staff's workload into account.

The Ofsted annual report also says that long working hours in schools affect teachers' work-life balance, and that teachers report spending less than half of their working time teaching.

The Ofsted survey from last year also shows that pupils' behaviour often has a negative effect on teachers' wellbeing and that teachers do not always feel well supported by senior leaders or line managers.

Other findings include staff feeling that they lack resources – both human and physical – and that this affects their ability to do the job as well as they could.

Ms Spielman says that a survey of teacher stress, workload and wellbeing had been carried out at the request of teachers.

She adds that the new inspection framework looks at the extent to which leaders take into account the workload and wellbeing of their staff.

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Amy Gibbons and John Roberts

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