The Department for Education (DfE) published an online school workload reduction toolkit in July 2018, (updated in October 2019). The extensive toolkit contains practical tools and resources for school leaders and teachers to help review and reduce workload in specific areas. It was produced by school leaders, teachers and other sector experts, together with the DfE.
In January 2019, the H&F Learning Partnership and Schools HR decided to work with a group of schools to pilot the DfE toolkit in order to identify successful strategies to reduce workload and improve wellbeing. The pilot took place at a time when teacher workload reduction had become a key focus of government policy. The new Ofsted framework includes a focus on helping to reduce workload and reducing the pressures on teachers, particularly where those pressures are associated with inspection.
The six participating schools chose to prioritise and address the following areas:
Reviewing and streamlining feedback and marking practice; Lesson planning and resources; Measuring pupil progress and managing the data; Administration
Planning a yearly calendar to avoid “pinch points”; Communications
The schools identified clear benefits of using the Workload Reduction Toolkit resources and they particularly highlighted the positive impact of the following:
- engaging with staff to review workload
- the use of the impact graph to assess tasks in the context of the amount of workload versus the impact on pupil outcomes
- making a plan and deciding with staff what activities to keep, tweak or eliminate
Sir John Lillie, one of the participating schools, had an Ofsted inspection recently. During feedback, the leadership team were informed that staff had told the inspectors that marking had been reduced and that this had a positive impact on their workload.
The attached report details how the pilot was implemented, the findings of the pilot, conclusions and recommendations.
Click here for more information about the pilot, how it was implemented, the findings of the pilot, conclusions and recommendations.