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Supporting teachers to manage their workload

For many years there has been much discussion in the media and at teaching union conferences about teacher workload.

Of course, every job, by its very nature, has ‘workload’. We all have job descriptions setting high standards and that is what employees are paid for.

In our school we regularly review teacher workload in order to ensure that it is reasonable. We do this as a part of our scheduled monitoring programme and in discussion with staff.

Here are some of the things that we do in our school in order to help staff to manage their workload well:

  • Teachers do not run any after school clubs so that they have plenty of time for assessment and planning from 3.30pm onwards.
  • Teachers do not supervise children at morning break times or lunchtimes so that they have time for a proper break and to prepare for the next set of lessons properly.
  • Teaching assistants receive weekly professional development training in PDMs and additional training e.g. supported reading/PM benchmarking training so that they are better able to support teachers with teaching, assessment and planning.
  • Planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time is available to teachers in a ‘block’ of time where possible i.e. not half an hour a day.
  • No staff meetings last for more than one hour.
  • Meetings are punctual, have a specific objective and are fit for purpose.
  • The highly detailed termly calendar with all events mapped on to it, is available for staff many weeks in advance to help them plan their time efficiently.
  • There are no evening parent meetings where exhausted teachers talk to parents long into a number of evenings. Instead we hold three Academic Review Days where teachers meet with parents within school hours.
  • Teachers are expected to attend only three social/community evening events over the course of the school year. These end at 8.00pm. Teachers do not stay to help clear up. These events are never held on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • Extremely detailed curriculum planning, right down to individual lesson planning is available for teachers in every subject.
  • The formats we use to report to parents on pupil progress have been refined and refined so that they are fit for purpose and not onerous for staff to complete.
  • If teachers so wish they have access to the school in the evenings, at weekends and during holidays in order to suit the working styles and circumstances of different individuals.
  • The school uses a positive coaching style to help staff who struggle to manage their time effectively.