Today (05 November) the Department of Education’s Teacher workload advisory group has published its report which highlights the burnout teachers can suffer due to the expectations on them from schools.
The Group’s recommendations include:
- Work with stakeholders to promote the development of teachers’ understanding of assessment as a key feature of teacher expertise.
- The DfE should find out how school and multi-academy trust (MAT) leaders currently evaluate their use of data. By Spring 2019 the DfE should test with school staff whether there is a need for further support for schools to do this (such as an audit tool or checklist). Following this testing the DfE should commission experts to develop the final product if needed.
- The DfE, Ofsted, unions and professional associations should reflect these principles in their guidance, in training for schools, officials and members, and through their networks.
- The DfE should evaluate to what extent schools are aligned to the principles set out in this report, including through existing quantitative surveys with a representative sample of schools. If this evaluation reveals significant levels of non-adoption, the DfE should work with stakeholders to ensure that more schools incorporate the outcomes of the report into their policy and practice.
- Ofsted should monitor the consistency of inspection practice relating to the principles of this report.
- Unions and professional associations should disseminate the principles of this report, and collect and share case studies of where schools have made changes to their data practices.
- School, MAT leaders and governors should review their data processes according to these principles, using the tools provided by DfE.
In responding to the report, Professor Dame Alison Peacock – CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching said:
“We cannot ask our teachers to work any harder than they already are. Increasing classroom sizes, increasing numbers leaving the profession and the number of qualified teachers entering continuing to fall is leading to huge pressures. The situation we face is completely unsustainable and teachers facing burnout will undoubtedly impact the education of young people.
I’m pleased that the Teacher workload advisory group has identified a path through the workload forest which too many teachers are finding themselves entangled. It’s good to see a call to develop teachers’ understanding of assessment, and is something which the Chartered College is playing a part through our journal Impact, our country-wide teaching networks and access to insight and research. We want to foster an environment where teachers can learn from excellent practice and break down the barriers to research so teachers are empowered to work in the most informed way possible. We look forward to working with organisations across the profession to make this a reality.”