More support to reduce teacher workload


Major work to reduce unnecessary teacher workloads will be taken forward following the publication of three landmark reports by the government.

The new reports focus on addressing the top three concerns raised through the government’s workload challenge survey:

  • marking
  • planning and resources
  • data management.

The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, pledged further support to free up teachers’ time by stamping out the unnecessary tasks and red tape impacting on the profession, stifling its creativity and passion.

She said: “There is nothing more damaging to the profession than wasting the passion and expertise of teachers and school leaders on unnecessary tasks.

“I am pleased to say I am accepting all the recommendations for government in full. But more importantly, the groups also make recommendations for the profession - because tackling workload requires much more than change from government, but culture change on the ground as well.”

The reports make recommendations for schools, school leaders and Ofsted, as well as to the government. They include:

  • calls for schools to challenge emerging fads that can cause excessive marking practices and not to reward ‘gold-plating’ - which involves excessive data collection
  • school leaders to evaluate the impact of school marking practices on teachers’ time, to prevent unreasonable demands on staff and to make sure they help drive pupil progress
  • actions for Ofsted, including continuing to ensure that no particular marking methods are being singled out for praise, with clear training for inspectors and monitoring of the reports
  • better sharing of effective teaching to inform planning - underpinned by continuous professional development
  • the Department for Education and other agencies to work with the sector to allow sufficient planning time when making changes
  • regular reviews of planning demands placed on teachers, led by school leaders.
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