There has not been too much good news filtering through the ranks of the education sector in recent years – budget cuts, increased pressure, recruitment problems and a retention crisis have all raised alarm bells. However, the burning issue of teacher workload could just receive a boost from the Government and Ofsted.
Speaking at the Association of School and College Leaders’ annual conference in Birmingham, Education Secretary Damian Hinds admitted that issues needed to be resolved in various areas of the role. He explained, “there can be no great schools without great teachers to motivate children and inspire curiosity. I recognise that recruitment and retention is difficult for schools and that one of the biggest threats to this is workload.”
In a joint approach, Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman added, “it really doesn’t matter what an inspectorate thinks if we can’t attract good people into teaching. The record number of good and outstanding schools won’t be sustained if the people, who make them run so well, are burning out and leaving the profession.”
The duo announced a three-pronged attack to improve education with a new recruitment and retention strategy, no changes to assessments or the current curriculum and a commitment to work collaboratively with all members of education set to be at the centre of the new approach.
Mr Hinds added, “I want teachers spending their working hours doing what’s right for children and to reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary tasks. I want to work with everyone in education to make that a reality.”
Miss Spielman suggested that schools should make changes to their marking policies. “I am committed to tackling workload. With marking, if the impact on pupil progress doesn’t match the hours spent then stop doing it.”
Sir Kevan Collins of the Education Endowment Fund explained, “we found that when you are doing feedback in a way which is teachers doing more and more work after school that isn’t what makes a difference. It is about what they do in the classroom.”
What Ofsted inspectors require during an inspection was also outlined and you can find out more information with our handy guide right here.
Do you think your workload will decrease? Will these plans actually be enforced? Let us know by tweeting @Evolve_Impact.