Educational leadership & learning

Teacher Workload summary

I have read and summarised the three reports for my staff and governors. I fully accept that these are highly subjective, as they identify what I think are think are the key points. I’m sure if anyone else was to undertake the same task it would differ, at least slightly.

However, having undertaken the summary I thought it made sense to share, in case it is of use to any other practitioners or schools.


Planning and Resourcing

Planning is critical and underpins effective teaching.

Fully resourced collaboratively developed units of learning (teachers then freed to work in best way for learners).

Planning a sequence of lessons is more important than writing individual lesson plans.

Individual teachers should be able to choose the best format for their working plans to suit their level of confidence and experience.

Planning should not be done simply to please outside organisations.

Blocks of time to allow for proper collaborative planning which offers excellent opportunities for professional development. Effective planning makes use of high quality resources.

Planning should start from the curriculum to be taught not the activities – what is being learnt today. Not ‘what are we doing today’

Develop a culture of effective professional development. School leaders should place great value on collaborative curriculum planning which is where teacher professionalism and creativity can be exercised.

Consider the use of externally produced and quality assured resources.



Marking practice that does not have the desired impact on pupil outcomes is a time wasting burden for teachers that has to stop.

Effective marking is an essential part of the education process…an interaction between teacher and pupil…primary aim of driving pupil progress.

The quality of feedback should not be confused with the quantity… the quality will be seen in how a pupil is able to tackle subsequent work.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Teachers Standards: “give pupils regular feedback, both orally and through accurate marking, and encourage pupils to respond to the feedback.” (Not a requirement for all written and response to feedback could be the next piece of work).

Meaningful: serve a single purpose: to advance pupil progress and outcomes. Consistency across a school can come from consistent high standards

Manageable: Proportionate and is cost and time effective. If teachers are spending more time on marking than the children are on piece of work then the proportion is wrong and should be changed. Feedback can be spoken, written marking, peer marking and self-assessment.

Motivating: Help to motivate pupils to make progress. Value efforts, achievements and progress. Pupils should be taught and encouraged to check their own work by understanding the success criteria, so that they complete work to the highest standard.


Data collection

We must have courage, tenacity, integrity and commitment.

We are at the start of a longer journey, a deeper conversation and the first tentative steps of long term systematic change.

We must insist on broader professional pedagogical conversations where data is a component part.

Practitioners are trusted to do what is best, not to collect meaningless data to prove it.

When used well, data can have a profound and positive impact. They help teachers to teach, school leaders to focus on the right issues.

Too often the collection of data becomes an end in itself.

Every data collection should have a clear purpose and the process should be as efficient as possible.

What data will be useful and for what purpose? Then collect the minimum amount of data required to help evaluate how they are doing.

Schools can have greater freedom to balance professional autonomy and agency against the demands of the accountability system.

Only collect what is needed to support outcomes for learner.

The accountability system – at all levels – can be a driver of excessive data management demands.

False comfort that data can provide – a purportedly robust and numerical measure of pupil progress.

Leaders should ensure that they have a curriculum that offers pupils a robust framework of teaching that builds progression, challenge and depth of knowledge. Teachers should then make professional judgements of pupil attainment against key performance indicators.

There is no intrinsic value in recording formative assessment; what matters is that it is acted on.

Create an assessment and data collection calendar…ensures all staff are clear about what is required, by when, and for what purpose.

Not saying that only tests provide accurate information, but rather that they can offer an additional perspective on a child’s performance, as part of a rounded understanding of a pupil’s progress and attainment.

Local Authorities, Ofsted and Government may be guilty of asking for information in ways which do not align with school practice, creating additional burdens.

Not data processes defining the curriculum and learning.

The amount and frequency of data required by the DfE is unduly onerous.

Collect data that are purposeful, valid and reliable.

Summative data should be collected only as frequently as essential to ensure appropriate actions can be taken in between collections.


Comments on: "Teacher Workload summary" (2)

  1. Excellent summary!


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