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:
- data management
Since the workload challenge of 2014 we have:
- set up 3 independent teacher workload review groups, which produced detailed reports offering advice for teachers on:
- committed to tracking teacher workload by running a large-scale survey every 2 years - we published the results of the first survey on 24 February 2017
- published an action plan with a full update of work and future commitments to help reduce teacher workload, including an offer of targeted support for schools
- committed to giving schools a minimum lead-in time for significant changes to policy in accountability, curriculum and qualifications; and to do more to consider the impact on schools when introducing such changes - see the DfE protocol
- carried out work to reduce DfE’s data burden on schools, in a way that also enables more efficient movement of data elsewhere in the system.
- worked with teaching unions and Ofsted to produce a pamphlet and poster for teachers, highlighting important points in the workload review reports
- introduced workload considerations into guidance we’ve produced for school, such as the:
- shared examples of successful practices schools have used to deal with teaching tasks that can cause unnecessary workload - see our teaching blog
- worked with the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to fund groups of schools carrying out collaborative projects into reducing workload
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:
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.