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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-teachers-workload/reducing-teachers-workload
We are working to remove unnecessary workload for teachers, to help them concentrate on teaching and their own development.
On 10 March 2018, the Secretary of State for Education gave a speech about the importance of removing unnecessary workload. A video has also been published explaining how the department is working with the profession, the teaching unions, Ofsted and others to reduce unnecessary teacher workload.
The Secretary of State addressed the National Association of Head Teachers’ conference on 4 May 2018. He stated that he wanted to move to a simpler system of responsibilty, where schools feel supported not restrained; and announced:
- the publication of the principles for the system
- the terms of reference of the workload advisory group which will look at what unnecessary data and evidence schools are collecting, and what/who motivates that behaviour.
We are holding regional events to give schools the opportunity to hear about practical solutions to remove unnecessary workload and share their own practice. The events will take place in London (25 June), Newcastle (29 June) and Birmingham (6 July).
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 collecting robust evidence on teacher workload at least every 2 years - we published the results of the first survey on 24 February 2017 and a follow-up survey on 10 March 2018
- 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 – we published the 12 project reports and a summary report on 10 March 2018
- published a review of packages of support and continuing professional development (CPD) available to schools in relation to reducing teacher 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.
Teachers said 3 of the biggest areas that can lead to unnecessary workload are:
- data management
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.