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Could GDPR help to cut teachers' workload?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation earlier this year may have led to panic, anxiety and extra rules to safeguard personal information. However, there may be an unlikely and unforeseen benefit to the changes in securing this sensitive data:

    ‘Given the penalty for a data breach (4 per cent of the annual turnover maximum fine), no school can take avoidable risks.

    Therefore, so far, most of the extra effort to keep data secure has been borne by the administrators and senior leaders.

    However, recent developments in practice may be even more far-reaching. One approach is to define pupils’ exercise books as sensitive data. Some schools have been instructed that teachers should not take exercise books home on public transport to cut the risk of a data breach.

    The implications of this directive are many and interesting…However, there might be a silver lining to this particular cloud. Many teachers are unable to walk, cycle or drive into school so will be unable to take work home.’

    Yvonne Williams is a head of English and drama working in the south of England

    What do you think? Could GDPR make teacher workload more visible and in turn could it act as an incentive to reduce the extra hours, effort and activity (often unpaid) staff routinely do as part of their demanding jobs?

  2. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    Thanks to the ineptitude of people who were in charge in 2017 when the timeline was issued......

    They have just doubled our workload in the last two weeks.
    So let's see....I've put in 850 teaching hours or more give or take a cover or two every week.
    Now because of a school directive that students books and paperwork must always be kept in school because of Ofsted or because they can't be trusted....
    I have to tear names off each piece of work........
    And the person dictating this....? Is not suffering any physical exhaustion from teaching large groups of abusive teens.....sends three or 4 emails a day which I have to read over lunch break but don't...I absolutely need my break unlike those teachers who teach about half my hours annually or less......
    Go figure....do I expect it to get better next year....based on prior experience of teaching in challenging schools where workload is not differentiated for teachers doing the most annual amount of challenging chalkface time......
    I shrug and will wait like many others and leave if it gets silly again.
    ......like many others.
  3. adam156

    adam156 New commenter

    Rather than 'teachers being unable to take work home' being a good thing, I think this will just lead to spending long evenings in school having to do the work. The reason we take marking home is to do it in the comfort of our own home; having to spend an extra 6 hours a week at minimum is just depressing.
    BetterNow, drek and agathamorse like this.
  4. BTBAM

    BTBAM New commenter

    Nothing will reduce the teacher workload.

    Somewhere in the country, the newest NQT at a school is texting her friends to say 'I've been trusted with a huge responsibility, I stay up all night and keep matchsticks in my eyes to keep them open during the day but I might get 20 minutes out of class a month to help me lead keeping the school open and SLT said I'm ready for it so I am really happy and proud'
    BetterNow, drek, ridleyrumpus and 2 others like this.
  5. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    As if! All that will happen is that we'll have to mark at school in stiflingly hot or cold and draughty classrooms directly after the end of a full day instead of going home, cuddling our kids, having a cold drink and relaxing for an hour before deciding to mark the books in a way that makes it marginally more bearable.
  6. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Never, in my whole teaching career, have I known anything that has decreased our workload: only increased it continually!

    If we have to stay at school until silly o'clock marking books, after we have finished the never-ending round of meetings and CPD sessions, I suppose the schools managements will be belly-aching about the cost of the additional heating.
  7. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    Teachers will still take books home, just now we'll be personally liable if we lose them. Thanks GDPR.
  8. henrycreswicke

    henrycreswicke Occasional commenter

    The expectation will be that you work in unheated rooms.
    BetterNow likes this.
  9. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Dont be silly, if your school is anything like mine the heating goes off way before the pupils depart. After an hour or so it is unbearably cold in the winter.

    (As a Science teacher I have an option, but it is frowned upon nowadays.)
    BetterNow, drvs and agathamorse like this.
  10. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    GDPR has made everything much more complicated. Needlessly so. Whoever dreamt up all these rules did not think about their potential impact upon schools. As if we haven’t enough to do already.

    agathamorse and BetterNow like this.
  11. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    If you think GDPR has made things much more complicated then I think you may have been sold some ***.

    GDPR imposes rules that any decent data manager would have imposed under the DPA, it is (largely) the consequences that have changed.
    border_walker likes this.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    That still leaves the school with the costs for additional lighting!
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Don't be silly, you'd have to provide your own battery powered lights or candles.
    agathamorse and SomethingWicked like this.
  14. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    I lost a book once. Well, a few, actually. Obviously I berated the children for their carelessness and refused to issue new books, knowing that they would produce their old books the next day.

    About three years later my father found a mass of dried pulp wedged between the bumper and body of my estate car. They’d done about eighty thousand miles in all weathers, and had turned to something resembling cardboard. By then the children had left school, so I couldn’t apologise. But you couldn’t have read anything in them, let alone the names on the front.

    If the books had slipped on to the road instead, and someone curious had discovered that Frederick was in need of checking his punctuation, and Jemima didn’t know her spellings three weeks ago, so what? What exactly is GDPR trying to prevent? The risk of anything happening because a book gets lost must surely be ridiculously small.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    I agree the risk posed by lost books is tiny in the context of the sheer volume of books that are not lost, however I've come across a few instances where kids use free-writing tasks as opportunities to disclose about safeguarding issues. If one of those books had been misplaced, it could have made for quite a tricky situation. Still, I doubt fear of GDPR will do much to stop it - teachers will still take books home, and teachers are only human...
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    If we used candles, the school would expect us to pay for fire insurance, too!
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    But we don’t lock the books away in school - any number of children or adults moving through the room could choose to open a book at random: cleaners after school, open-day visitors, other parents at parents evening. We even take our books to other schools to show other teachers at moderation. Any one of those people could legitimately discover something a child thought was private.
    agathamorse likes this.

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