Date published: 14th October 2019

Published by: DfE


Good news on teacher workload, but there’s more to do

In 2016, we asked teachers, middle and senior leaders about their workload, and earlier this year we asked over 7,000 of you about this again.

The good news is that, compared with 2016, teachers have told us they:

  • work fewer hours overall
  • are spending less time on tasks outside the classroom, like marking and lesson planning
  • spend less time working in the evenings and at weekend

While this is a step in the right direction, we know that working hours are still high, with teachers and middle leaders reporting that they work 49.5 hours a week on average. While this is a reduction compared to 2016, it is still higher than the average for many other countries.

We therefore have more to do. The rest of this email outlines what we are currently working on and highlights helpful tools that you and your school may want to use.

Take action on workload using our updated toolkit

We’ve updated the Workload Reduction Toolkit to make it easier to use and lots of schools have already found it very helpful.

Lynsey Draycott, headteacher at Barr Beacon said:

“Leaders have a duty of care to all their teachers, to make sure we are all setting realistic boundaries. I would recommend the toolkit to other headteachers, it has had a huge impact on our staff recruitment and retention.”

Watch Barr Beacon School’s video on reducing workload.

Explore our flexible working resources

We have published the first of our new flexible working resources. These are designed to provide practical support to help you make the case for and implement flexible working in your school. We’ll keep adding to these.

You can also watch a video from Boxgrove School in Surrey, about how they have embraced flexible working, and seen how it has helped staff flourished.

Use technology in your schools

We’re helping to build a better understanding of how technology can support you to address issues like workload, flexible working and school improvement. You can get involved in two ways:

Support for new teachers

We know new teachers can find the first few years daunting, particularly when it comes to balancing their workload. This, in part, is why we are introducing the Early Career Framework (ECF).

It’s underpinned by a fully-funded, two-year package of structured training and support for early career teachers, linked to the best available research and evidence.

We’ve just appointed providers to deliver the ECF in four pilot regions – the North East, Greater Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster – from next September. It will then roll out nationally in 2021.

We’ll keep you in the loop on how to get involved if you’re working in one of the pilot regions.

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