Workload challenge: funding for schools

Apply for funding to research, implement and measure solutions to unnecessary teacher workload.


The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is offering grant funding of up to £30,000 for groups of schools to carry out collaborative research projects into efficient and effective approaches which reduce workload related to:

  • marking
  • planning and resources
  • data management

This funding will help you take the principles and recommendations from three independent reports into workload to investigate your current practices and develop long term solutions to better manage teacher workload.

We’re also hoping that schools will develop tools and processes that could work as a form of recognition or accreditation for schools which are actively working to keep workload at proportionate and manageable levels.


The application round is now closed.

What’s involved

Lead schools will be required to:

  • work with professional researchers and their school partners to investigate the issues associated with reducing workload and develop and test practical and innovative solutions to address these
  • explore the impact of existing school culture on workload
  • investigate ways in which wider school organisational issues may affect workload in the 3 report areas
  • ensure that their research project is rigorous and robust
  • evaluate the impact of their project in the classroom and its effect on reducing teacher workload without compromising pupil outcomes
  • submit termly progress reports to show that their project is on track
  • submit a detailed final research report including a project summary to be published on GOV.UK
  • share the findings of their research and make these available to other schools in their region and nationally
  • participate in Department for Education and NCTL evaluation
  • act as the fund holding school and be responsible for the receipt and use of funding
  • complete and return our grant offer letter by the deadline
  • report against spend through the NCTL collaborative fund process

Contact details of programme leads for 2016 to 2017.


The research projects will enable schools to:

  • make a measurable positive difference to teacher workload
  • develop long term solutions to tackling workload from which other schools can learn
  • further develop their research skills by engaging with professional researchers
  • develop innovative approaches to tackling workload in general, particularly in meeting the cultural challenges outlined in the 3 independent reports into workload
  • monitor and evaluate the impact of their project, including any impact on recruitment and retention of teachers
  • create local, regional and national networking opportunities to share successful approaches and raise the profile of the 3 independent reports into workload and their principles and recommendations

Contact us

Research and development

Published 28 September 2016
Last updated 9 November 2016 + show all updates
  1. Application round is now closed
  2. The application round is now closed.
  3. First published.