DfE Promises to Reduce Teacher Workload

By Jocelyn Levy | 2nd November 2020 | 8 min read

he Department for Education has said it supports all recommendations made to it by a Workload Advisory Group Report regarding how to reduce teacher workload. It will hopefully be a welcome move and help change the culture in schools that sees teachers over worked on non-essential tasks.

Workload Advisory Report

The report by the Workload Advisory Group has a number of recommendations on how to reduce teacher workload. There are recommendations for schools, the Department for Education and Ofsted to combat the issues.

Teachers are to be given simplified ways of logging incidents of poor behaviour, detention and other pastoral information for example. And schools have been told they should not make pay progression for teachers dependent on quantitative assessment metrics.

Meanwhile the DfE has been told to not unnecessarily request attainment data from schools in ways they do not already collect it, unless intervention for the school is on the horizon.

And Ofsted have been told to make it clear to schools they do not expect to see detailed logging of every single minor incident or detention. Damian Hinds said:

“Many teachers are having to work way too many hours each week on unnecessary tasks, including excessive time spent on marking and data analysis.

“I want to make sure teachers are teaching, not putting data into spreadsheets. That’s why I am stopping my department asking for data other than in the school’s existing format.”

Reduce Teacher Workload Efforts Ignored

The efforts to reduce teacher workload needs revamping after it emerged from one study that workload reviews recommended by the Government have not taken place in many schools. A survey of 11,341 teachers by the NEU found that only 45 per cent of primary school teachers and 44 per cent of secondary teachers have had a review of their marking workload.

Some 60 per cent of primary teachers and 54 per cent of secondary teachers reported that the quantity and type of planning required is unmanageable.

Helping to reduce teacher workload

As the Workload Advisory Group report suggest, the effort to reduce teacher workload is not down to any one group. It takes a team effort from all those involved in education to combat the problem, teachers, schools, government and Ofsted. The use of technology solutions, the kind BioStore supply, can also be one part of the answer to the problem. Our solutions help cut admin time in the classroom down, by simplifying attendance registering for example.

Our solutions aim to make the school day run smoothly and efficiently. Find out more. Hopefully the new recommendation endorsed by the DfE will help make a difference and let teachers focus more time on what is most important.

Related links & news stories

TES: DfE pledges new action to cut teacher workload

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