1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

DFE response to the workload survey

Discussion in 'Education news' started by NQT1986, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

  2. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I've skim read the 'Marking' working party recommendations. Fairly impressed, but reveals nothing that we haven't already discussed here on TES. The acid-test is this: which SLTs will take on board the 'Challenge' and admit that their four-page marking policy is not fit for purpose and file it in the bin, allowing their teachers to take the lead and mark in the manner that they deem fit.
    Shedman likes this.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Don't be fooled, it's gibberish. Full of buzzwords but little else and amazingly vague as usual

    Can't see a single reference to a marking policy that is shown to work, or to any numbers that show anything specific that might be useful.

    They have avoided using the phrase "triple marking" in favour of the faintly ludicrous "deep marking".

    Verbal feedback and its effectiveness doesn't come into a marking policy, but cannot be ignored like it is here


    Unless Ofsted start to mark down schools that are demanding ridiculous levels of marking / feedback, not much will change, but of course they wont.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    Shedman and schoolsout4summer like this.
  4. missied

    missied New commenter

    Won't it all mean nothing when all primaries are academies?
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  5. Sisyphus_rolls_again

    Sisyphus_rolls_again Established commenter

    From the 'data' document:
    "action plans for the year are decided in September but RAISEOnline results get loaded through the autumn and winter."

    Seriously? It's taken them this long to recognise that?
    I thought they were the people who knew..and we were the rubbing rags.
  6. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I thought it was a helpful report, It identified the issues which have been discussed all too frequently on this forum, and recognised that they should be scrapped, e.g. marking every piece of work in depth, using different coloured pens, indicating verbal feedback. They also recognised that different phases & subjects may need different approaches to marking. And that marking is not necessarily the best way to give feedback. I particularly liked the understanding that if the marking took longer to do than the work, then there was something wrong!

    Given that underpinning the report is the idea that one size doesn't fit all, and that when & how to mark should be the teacher's decision I don't see how they could identify or create 'a marking policy that is shown to work'. However, they have articulated in a Government document what is
  7. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    I think it is far too little, far too late and more than likely to be completely ignored by SLTs up and down the country.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    OK, so I no longer work in a school, but did for many years and don't understand-aren't all the unions telling you not to do more than the bare minimum? Why don't you all refuse to do excessive marking, living by the rule-will this marking help the children progress? If so, do it. If there's a better other way, eg verbal feedback etc, do that. If all the staff follow that basic piece of common sense, what can they do? Sack everyone, and have the Daily Mail et al expose their ridiculous demands of pink and purple shapes or whatever it is they want triple dotted exposed to all their parents?
  9. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    It's trickier to do if you are one of only a few staff (or perhaps the only one) to follow this course of action.
    Landofla likes this.
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    But they won't will they. Teacher's will not stand together. They prefer to flog themselves to death.
    I've seen that despite Action Short of Strike Action they've continued to take on more. One of the action points is no to introduce policies that have not been workload assessed (or somesuch). How many have questioned marking polices on that basis?
    I tried my best to argue against the fact that more time was being taken up by various things but no-one else would. OK I realise that much of this was through fear but as you say, if you'd all stood together as one then this there is little that SLT can do.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

  12. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I read it very closely again and it seems to me to be a complete fudge. It walks around all the right areas, talks about wanting effective marking (and don't we all? but without coming close to saying what that actually entails), it doesn't say schools actively shouldn't triple mark etc and I can guarantee you that when and how to mark will definitely not be the decision of the teacher.

    In the Spring of 2015, Ofsted clearly set out that it does not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking, it is only interested in the overall effectiveness of marking policies on outcomes for pupils.

    How do you assess the effectiveness of a marking policy with respect to outcomes? How many different factors contribute to outcomes?

    If the hours spent do not have the commensurate impact on pupil progress: stop it

    Spectacularly vague. What does it mean? Who will measure and who will decide? How much is commensurate? How do you decide the marking resulted in the progress seen?

    This bit on data is more encouraging:

    Although following the icing on the cake twitter feed, it appears there are only two areas teachers can act on:

    Good luck with that. Tried it. Just get the dog being shown a card trick look.

    Correct means be an accurate inputter of the data. Not that the data is accurate or means much!

    When the first "good" or "outstanding" school is publicly criticised by Ofsted for excessive / triple marking, or collecting too much / "wrong" data, I'll eat my boardpens.
    install likes this.
  13. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    So far I've only read the planning and resources document which is pretty much saying the right things, including an emphasis on OFSTED not looking for particular formats or individual lesson plans and a thiny veiled swipe at government for rushing through reforms and not releasing information "in good time".

    The only recommendation that concerns me is :
    "Senior and middle leaders should ensure, as a default expectation that a fully resourced, collaboratively produced, scheme of work is in place for all teachers for the start of each term."

    At primary this is not a good way to go forward. A term is a hell of a long time and ideas, planning, topics and resources can change a lot depending on what is working and what isn't. To have a whole term fully resourced is going to involved creating/buying a lot of resources that will ultimately end up unused. If SLT take this verbatim then there will be schemes bought in that cannot be deviated from in order to satisfy this recommendation.
    install and SportyK like this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Although, of course, schools can still insist on them, and then what?
  15. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    @Benbamboo I don't think it would be that bad of an idea at primary level. It would significantly reduce workload that's for sure. I know in Spain pretty much the entire country follows a textbook for their Language classes, literally every single child does the same textbook pages as their peers. No differentiation. Adaptions are made in extreme cases, but on the whole everyone learns the same. Teachers supplement it as they see fit, but at the end of the year the only thing the parents expect is to see the textbook completed.

    I really don't understand why differentiation is such a big thing here.
    wanet likes this.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    On the face of it, it's all sensible measured stuff.
    However although they say. Nobody intentionally sets out to create unnecessary workload, there have been far too many people generating policy without worrying about the impact on other people's workloads.

    The primary colleagues I know are really bogged down with assessment without levels, wondering what on earth to do. I know of a recent after hours moderation meeting only attended by people hoping for guidance - they looked at each others stuff but came away none the wiser having wasted time that could have been used more directly to the benefit of pupils or with families relaxing.
    This is a down side of academisation - no handy LA advisor to help, but no-one is prepared to spend money on someone who has had the time and guidance to know what's going on.
    knitone likes this.
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    From: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/the-worklo...he-most-useful-parts-of-the-workload-reports/

    The recommendations themselves cover three different areas – planning, marking, and data – and are mostly very weak. Lots of lines saying ‘should’ and ‘encourage’ but no real commitment.

    Also, many of the recommendations are already followed by people in schools. For example, “teachers should consider the use of quality assured resources, such as textbooks or teacher guides” – this is something teachers will regularly be doing anyway.

    But, hidden among the text and of each report, is a series of underlying principles that the authors believe can help reduce workload in planning, marking and data handling across all schools, regardless of context.

    The theory is that if, when schools implement policies, they used these principles, then workload would decrease.

    So, here they are, and our 1-page downloadable guide for sharing at meetings is at the bottom of the page.

    The 5 Principles of Planning
    1. Planning a sequence of lessons is more important than writing individual lesson plans

    2. Fully resourced schemes of work should be in place for all teachers to use each term

    3. Planning should not be done simply to please outside organisations

    4. Planning should take place in purposeful and well defined blocks of time

    5. Effective planning makes use of high quality resources

    Marking: The 3 Ms
    All marking should be…

    Meaningful: marking varies by age group, subject, and what works best for the pupil and teacher in relation to a particular piece of work. Teachers should adjust their approach and be trusted to use outcomes in subsequent planning and teaching.

    Manageable: marking should be proportionate and takes into account the frequency and complexity of written feedback, as well as the cost and time-effectiveness of marking in relation to the overall workload of teachers. This should be written into any assessment policy.

    Motivating: Marking should help to motivate pupils to progress. This does not mean always writing in-depth comments or being universally positive: sometimes short, challenging comments or oral feedback are more effective. If the teacher is doing more work than their pupils, this can become a disincentive for pupils to accept challenges and take responsibility for improving their work.

    Data: 3 Big Questions
    1. Am I clear on the purpose? Why is this data being collected, and how will improve provision?

    2. Is this the most efficient process? Have the workload implications been properly considered and is there a less burdensome way to collect, enter, analyse, interpret, and present the information?

    3. Is the data valid? Does the data actually provide a reliable and defensible measure of educational attainment?

    install likes this.
  18. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Planning should not be done simply to please outside organisations
    that really is key, and should be applied to absolutely everything else we do.
    We are soon to be visited by yet another head of LA education bod, so have been told to ensure that the school looks **** and span at the time of their visit.
    I will get out there and whitewash the stones over Easter to help out!
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Because years ago, parents of children with special needs were fed the lie that "differentiation" would enable their children to 'keep up'.
    Landofla and wanet like this.
  20. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    So we need to see Ofsted giving schools a hard time if they find schools overdoing it.

    I could have considered using textbooks as much as I liked, but since the budget wasn't there I had to make do with the ancient books still there from more benevolent times - that often no longer reflected the curriculum.

Share This Page