By all accounts, teacher workload in England and Wales is now the heaviest it has ever been. A global survey found teachers work an average of 51 hours a week, the fourth highest of any country. Workload is ranked as the number 1 reason for teachers leaving the profession. It is also dissuading people from joining or returning to the job.
Schools are undoubtedly under greater pressure than ever before. Funding is not seen as sufficient, there are fewer teachers to be recruited and there is the constant duress of inspection. These school pressures are combined with “additional” teacher responsibilities such as data collection and strategies such as “prevent”.
There is not a single solution, just as there is no clear cause. However, workload is now attracting government attention. Recent research by the Teacher workload advisory group found three key areas where workload could be reduced. The advisory group suggested that reassessing school policies around marking, planning and data management are the first things that schools can do to alleviate the problem.
Value live-marking. Frees up teacher time around lessons and can allow for instant feedback.
Encourage peer assessment. Though best suited for older year groups, it can be effective with KS2 if the task is correct.
Minimise deep-marking. Only mark in detail on occasion and specifically.
This is just a glance. Workload is proving to be a pervasive and pernicious problem for schools. The above proposals aren’t a solution, but a series of ideas that have been shown to reduce workload. At Airsupply we’re committed to keeping teachers in the profession. We’d love to hear about any strategies you have for helping your staff manage workload.
Airsupply teachers typically earn £30 per day more, doing work they choose.