‘Our 10-point plan to reduce teacher workload’

22nd October 2014 at 18:30

The Association of School and College Leaders has written to education secretary Nicky Morgan outlining 10 steps that would reduce teacher workload

Actions for government

1. The overly-complicated accountability and inspection system has workload implications. Accountability measures should focus only on the most valuable information that makes the greatest improvement.

2. Ofsted should put a stop to inspection practices that increases workload. The perception is that Ofsted inspectors require certain evidence or specific practices. Ofsted should not require schools to do anything.

3. School leaders need a period of stability to implement the current reforms to curriculum, assessment and qualification reform. There should be no further ad-hoc changes.

4. Decreasing real-term funding means schools and colleges must do more with less. While there are some efficiency savings to be made, there is a point at which workloads have to increase. We need a fair national funding formula.

5. Self-evaluation should not be a bureaucratic exercise. It is right that no one form of self-evaluation is mandated or required.

Actions for school and college leaders

6. Paperwork should be kept to a minimum. Marking books is an important part of student feedback, but inordinate amounts of writing in books is not always the most effective use of teacher time.

7. Lesson planning is important, but it should not be a bureaucratic process. It should vary with the teacher’s experience, familiarity with material and preferred style. The focus should be on impact rather than compliance.

8. We need to free teachers from all unnecessary fear, uncertainty and doubt about inspection and myths about what they believe inspectors want. School leaders can help reassure their staff about this.

9. Just because ICT systems can support very detailed planning and reporting, it does not mean they should be used in that way.

10. Parents want good quality conversations with teachers that feel personal and specific to their child. The paperwork needs to support this rather than becoming an end in itself

Find out more about the DfE’s Workload Challenge, announced yesterday


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