Teachers must be freed from ‘burdensome workload’

Following a call from Nick Clegg to minimise unnecessary paperwork, teachers can tell the DfE how their workload could be cut on its Workload Challenge website.

The Deputy Prime Minister wants teachers to spend more time in the classroom rather than on “unnecessary processes, box-ticking and form-filling”, the BBC reports. This follows Education Secretary Nicky Morgan’s promise to reduce teacher workload last month.

“We’re talking about hours spent struggling to stay on top of piles of incident reports, over-detailed lesson plan templates, health and safety forms, departmental updates, training requests and so on that threaten to engulf them every week,” Mr Clegg said. “Not to mention the reams of additional evidence which teachers pull together because of a long-held belief that Ofsted inspectors want to see everything written down.”

Teaching unions welcomed Mr Clegg’s announcement. “ATL is pleased the coalition government is finally taking teachers’ workloads seriously,” said ATL’s Mary Bousted. “It is a tragedy that for so long teachers and school leaders have felt pressurised into doing tasks which do nothing to improve children’s education.”

Now teachers can tell the DfE what wastes their time, and what the government and schools should be doing about it on the Workload Challenge website. Teachers can email their ideas to workload.solutions@education.gsi.gov.uk or contact the Workload Challenge page on Twitter.

Meanwhile, school leaders say that teachers should spend less time marking books to cut their workload. Instead of presenting “beautifully detailed, marked books”, ASCL (Eteach is an ASCL Premier Partner) wants teachers to spend more time working with pupils. In a letter to Nicky Morgan, it insisted that the government must play a bigger part in cutting teachers’ workload by scaling back league tables and easing the pressure caused by Ofsted inspections, the Telegraph reports.

Do you welcome Nick Clegg’s intervention? What suggestions do you have for cutting your workload? Share your views with the Eteach community!

5 thoughts on “Teachers must be freed from ‘burdensome workload’

  1. All our work is spent justifying what we are doing – over detailed planning, detailed marking explaining progress made and next steps for learning, and comments in books explaining what we have done if the learning hasn’t involved work in books. As SENCo I am also having to complete CAFs to involve other agencies. Whilst these are useful in cases where multiple agencies are involved and a child has complex needs, they are not always useful when just one agency is involved. Also, whilst the CAF was initially supposed to be accepted instead of a referral form, it is now required as well as referral forms. This all results in unecessary paperwork and often unecessary meetings, which also take teachers out of class.

  2. Hello,
    Just to let you know. For my own health and sanity I left a permanent position last Summer to take up roles as a Supply teacher. I have added at least 30 hours to my life due to not having to plan. I follow someone else’s plans these days or use my professionalism and think off the top of my head as to what the children need. I can honestly tell you, the children are well cared for, the lessons I deliver are top class, the children’s behaviour has been exemplary and the atmosphere in the classes have been calm. I am once again being the fantastic teacher I used to be near the start of my career when there is no stress held by myself or by the children.

  3. I definitely agree with spending less time marking books. I used to stay at school until 9 pm sometimes because the books were too heavy to carry home. The purpose of marking is to make sure that the pupils have done the work, for the pupil to know where s/he has got it wrong or right and for the teacher to get an idea of where the students are struggling so that some remedial action can be taken if necessary.

    And in any case giving short tests is much more effective in motivating pupils to work and seeing what their true performance is.

    The other two ways to cut workload is to reduce contact time and reduce class size but of coure that would cost much too much money. So even with an election coming up I doubt anyone will promise that!

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