Only 26% teachers say Ofsted changes will cut workload

EXCLUSIVE: Survey finds that 56% of young teachers have sought mental health support as a result of teaching demands, while 70% of teachers would tell others not to join the profession

tacher workload
Only a quarter of teachers believe that Ofsted’s new reforms will reduce workload, according to new research.
 
The survey of more than 1,000 primary and secondary teachers across the country also found that 56 per cent of young teachers (up to the age of 24) have sought mental health support as a result of teaching demands and stress related to their job.

And 70 per cent of teachers would discourage others from joining the profession, while the same proportion believe that students miss out on extracurricular activities such as after-school clubs because of excessive teacher workload.

Watch: 'I was a burned-out teacher: here's my story'

Read: Early years staff 'doing too much paperwork'

Tips: Here's how to stop workload 'swallowing you whole'



One teacher, a deputy head of maths in Devon, said: “Our school tries to provide a wide range of extracurricular activities for students, but the workload of teachers can make this a challenge.
 
“If staff have piles of marking and paperwork then activities and clubs have to be cancelled, which means students miss out on valuable enrichment activities.”

The survey, commissioned by edtech provider Sparx, suggests that the demands of the national curriculum, time spent on ineffective written marking and Ofsted are “key pressure points for teachers”.

A total of 45.9 per cent of teachers disagreed that Ofsted’s new focus on teacher wellbeing would reduce teachers' workload; 27.6 per cent of teachers neither agreed or disagreed, while only 26 per cent believed it would.

A total of 90 per cent of teachers said they would welcome technology if it reduced their workload.

An assistant head of a secondary in Plymouth said: “This excessive burden on workload really took a toll on my mental health. This school year, things are much better. We’ve introduced some new maths-focused educational technology which has saved lots of time.”

“A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We are already taking action in this area in order to strengthen work life balance and wellbeing for teachers. This includes reducing workload, supporting early career school teachers, promoting flexible working and tackling accountability pressures, as well as supporting schools to deal with behaviour management.

“Our Expert Advisory Group examines how teachers and school leaders can be better supported to deal with the pressures of the job, building on our Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy which focuses on the importance of developing supportive cultures.” Ofsted has been contacted for comment.

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