This last month, the Department for Education, the teaching unions and OFSTED united. Yes, you heard me right. The topic that saw this unique collaboration: teacher workload.
The recruitment and retention issue faced by schools is meeting a demographic boom. Add that to stagnant school budgets and a deeply embedded accountability culture that sees compliance strangling trust and you are left with a toxic recipe sees teachers working to excess.
There are issues that are more essential to deal with than teacher workload. I have collated some of my blogs on the topic, but also some of the best wider reading on the subject.
My blogs on teacher workload
Teacher Workload: What can schools do? This 2016 challenges some of our learned helplessness in schools. There is every opportunity for school leaders to make changes.
The Mountain of Teacher Workload. This post, from 2016, looks at the issues that drive teacher workload, from clumsy compliance, OFSTED and accountability, and shrinking school budgets.
The Workload Challenge: An Unwinnable Trial. This 2015 is critical of the ‘Workload Challenge’ – instead, challenging us to deal with the vast bulk of the issues ourselves.
The Penalty Paradox. This 2016 blog tackles the crucial psychological drivers that sees teachers and school leaders habitually stick to unhealthy work habits.
Wider reading on workload
The TES have produced a handy article entitled ‘Teacher Workload Challenge: Your at-a-glance guide to the final recommendations‘, that does what it says very helpfully.
There is a lot of useful wider-reading on the issue, given it is a perennial issue. In Schools Week, Russell Hobby & Toby Salt discuss ’10 ways to make workload less of a challenge’.
The Education Policy Institute have produced ‘Teacher workload and professional development in England’s secondary schools: insights from TALIS‘ that surveys the eye-watering workload demands on English teachers.
Do share the DfE, union and OFSTED guidance on this excellent poster (online HERE):
There have been come excellent bloggers voicing the issue with some practical approaches too.
Bloggers on workload
Shaun Allison has shared Durrington school’s approach to ‘Workload Matters‘.
John Tomsett (full disclosure – he is my boss!) has written what he knows: ‘This much I know about…The Workload Debate‘.
Joe Kirby has shared how Michaela School have tackled the workload issue to protect their teachers: ‘Hornets and Butterflies: How to Reduce Workload’.
Debra Kidd has written a great blog full of practical strategies for school leaders: ‘10 Ways SLT can Reduce Teacher Workload‘.
Sarah Barker has produced a powerful individual account of managing workload: ‘Managing the Workload‘.