Workload Reduction

on . .

The teacher workload survey is a robust survey of working hours and perceptions of workload and other conditions. The findings show an overall reduction in reported working hours for teachers, middle and senior leaders since the 2016 survey. The reduction is largely seen in hours spent working in the evening and at weekends, including a decrease in time spent on marking, planning and other non-teaching tasks.

While this is good news, we recognise that there is still got a long way to go. Working hours are still high and the majority of respondents still report that workload is at least a fairly serious problem in their school. We need to go further to improve the experience of teachers and build on the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy we launched earlier this year.

Therefore, in addition to publishing the results of the Teacher Workload Survey, the DfE has announced several additional measures to improve teacher retention. These include:

  • - Announcing a significant step towards early roll-out of the Early Career Frameworkprogramme in Bradford, Doncaster, the North East and Greater Manchester, from September 2020 - the appointment of providers who will be working with multiple local partners and sub-contractors to deliver fully funded support packages for new teachers and mentors. 
  • - Updating the school workload reduction toolkit, which contains practical materials for schools to tackle teacher workload, to make it easier to use, with better navigation and simpler, reduced text, and issuing a short video to accompany this;
  • - Launching a new opportunity for schools and colleges to participate in the EdTech Innovation Testbed, helping to identify digital tools that can reduce teacher workload as well as trialling ‘best-in-class’ timetabling software to facilitate flexible working; 
  • - Launching an expressions of interest process for schools and colleges to apply to become EdTech Demonstrators– providing peer-to-peer support on the use of technology, including for tackling teacher workload, supported by a third party Delivery Partner (see contracts finder for further information)
  • - Announcing an extension of nine Curriculum Fund pilots for up to an additional two terms, after initial research showed almost half of teachers said that their workload had decreased, saving teachers time from creating schemes and lesson plans from scratch;
  • - Publishing flexible working resources, including case studies to provide practical support for schools in implementing further flexible working for teachers and leaders, including a case study video.