Policy paper

Reducing teacher workload

Updated 24 February 2017

We are working to remove unnecessary workload for teachers, to help them concentrate on teaching and their own development.

Teachers say 3 of the biggest areas that can lead to unnecessary workload are:

  • marking
  • planning
  • data management


Since the workload challenge of 2014 we have:


The workload challenge

In October 2014, we launched the workload challenge. This was a month-long survey where we asked teachers for their views on how to reduce unnecessary workload.

The survey asked about:

  • unnecessary or unproductive tasks
  • strategies that work in schools to manage workload
  • what government and schools can do to minimise workload

More than 44,000 people responded to the workload challenge.

On 6 February 2015, we published:

In October 2014 Ofsted published guidance explaining what inspectors do and do not expect to see when they inspect a school. These clarification statements should help teachers and school leaders avoid some unnecessary tasks. The statements were revised and incorporated into Ofsted’s ‘School inspection handbook 2015’ (paragraph 28).

Independent review groups

We established 3 independent review groups to look at the 3 biggest concerns that teachers raised in the workload challenge.

The groups were asked to create principles for practice and to make specific recommendations for action. Their independent reports were published on 26 March 2016.

For further details of the groups, including membership, see:

Contact us

Email us if you would like to get in touch about workload or if you want to share examples of effective practices that reduce workload in schools.

Teacher workload team