Government and Ofsted are the biggest drivers of teachers’ workload

Education Executive reports that almost half (47%) of teachers believe the government and Ofsted are responsible for an increase in their workload, according to a survey by the National Education Union (NEU) released at the ATL section annual conference.

Of the 8,000 teachers in England who responded to a survey on their workload, 87% said that the government’s 2014 Workload Challenge has not cut their workload at all. Of those, almost 60% said there has been a notable increase in their workload since October 2014.

The government’s Workload Challenge was intended to reduce unnecessary teacher workload relating to marking, planning and data management. Yet, as the results of this survey confirm, this just isn’t the case.

With teachers having to constantly prove that they are supporting every child to do their best in tests and exams, it was no surprise that over half (52%) said Government changes to the curriculum, assessments or exams was the biggest driver of their workload. Forty-six per cent said it was Ofsted inspections, including mock inspections, and almost three-quarters (74%) reported that pressure to increase pupil test scores and exam grades was the biggest driver of their workload.

One female junior school teacher talked about having to mark “90 or 120 books in a night”.

When asked what practices they feel should be changed or stopped to reduce their workload, 40% said ‘Ofsted prep’. Almost 60% (58%) cited general administration and 47% said that if they stopped deep marking it would help reduce their workload.

A female primary school teacher in a maintained school said: “I have no time to plan engaging lessons as I am too busy marking, assessing, reading and responding to emails at all hours.”

Teachers quite rightly resent having to collect data, or doing tasks that they believe will be of no benefit to the education of pupils. Half of teachers (49.9%) said it is not clear how all the data they have to collect will be used. Forty-three per cent said they don’t believe the data collected helps pupils to progress.

Read the full article Government and Ofsted are the biggest drivers of teachers’ workload

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