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Teacher Workload Challenge: Your at-a-glance guide to the final recommendations

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by TheoGriff, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Teacher Workload Challenge: Your at-a-glance guide to the final recommendations
    Eleanor Busby
    27th March 2016 at 12:06

    • [​IMG]
    Government and politics
    The three government commissioned review groups on teacher workload released their reports this weekend. Here is what you need to know...
    Education secretary Nicky Morgan has accepted the recommendations of three workload review groups into marking, planning and resources, and data management, it was announced this weekend.

    The news did not stop National Union of Teachers members voting for strikes to combat worsening teacher workload yesterday. But the union's leadership also welcomed the ideas of how to ease the problem suggested by the review groups, set up following the findings of the Government's Workload Challenge survey. Here are the groups' main points:

    Planning and Resources
    • Senior leaders should not automatically require the same planning format across the school and should review demands made on teachers in relation to planning.
    • A fully resourced, collaboratively produced, scheme of work should be put in place for all teachers for the start of each term.
    • Teachers should consider the use of externally produced and quality assured resources, such as textbooks or teacher guides, and move away from a bias against them.
    • More staff should engage in collaborative planning instead of spending a great deal of time planning individual lessons.
    • ITT providers should review their demands on trainee teachers and concentrate on how to plan across a sequence of lessons.
    • There is “little robust evidence” to support the use of extensive written comments when marking pupils’ work.
    • Providing written feedback on pupils’ work “has become disproportionately valued by schools and has become unnecessarily burdensome for teachers.”
    • Instead, teachers should use their “professional judgement” to decide how best to mark work. They should “be more active” in using evidence to determine what works best.
    • All marking should be “meaningful, manageable and motivating”.
    • This approach should be made clear to trainee teachers.
    • School leaders “must have the confidence to reject decisions that increase burdens for their staff for little dividend”.
    • Some teachers are “wasting time” using “disproportionate” marking practices such as extensive comments that children in an early years class are unable to read.
    • “If teachers are spending more time on marking than the children are on a piece of work then the proportion is wrong and should be changed.”
    • “If your current approach is unmanageable or disproportionate, stop it and adopt an approach that considers exactly what the marking needs to achieve for pupils”
    • The Department for Education should “disseminate” these findings.
    • The accountability system “must encourage good practice rather than stimulate fads”.
    Data Management
    • People should not be rewarded for 'gold plating’ - the process of collecting all data ‘just in case’ - as it is both "dangerous" and "unnecessary"
    • Staff should not be asked for or duplicate collection of data collected elsewhere.
    • Schools leaders should conduct a regular audit of in-school data management procedures to ensure they remain manageable for staff
    • Schools should not routinely collect formative assessment data and summative data should not normally be collected more than three times a year per pupil.
    • Teachers need to record data accurately and ensure it is correct first time.
    • should continue to monitor inspection reports to ensure no particular methods of planning or marking are praised as exemplars.
    • ensure training of inspectors emphasises the commitment in the framework.
    • continue to communicate the clarification paragraphs in the inspection framework through updates and other relevant channels.
    • should commit to sufficient lead-in times for changesfor which the sector will have to undertake significant planning to implement.
    • should use its influence to disseminate the principles of the report through system leaders.
    • could consider including data management skills in national qualifications for school leaders.
    • shoud bring forward the release of both validated and unvalidated data to as early as possible in the cycle so it is available when decisions are taken to prevent unnecessary duplication by schools.
    Best wishes

  2. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Let's hope things change for the better.

    I shall discuss it with my staff after the Easter holidays. There are some interesting discussion points.
  3. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You need hope because there's no other reason anything will change


    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.

    Schoolsweek's distilled guide:

    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?

    However, in reality, schools can continue to do what they wish to do
    Landofla and Anonymity like this.
  4. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Can I ask if these recommendations are for England and Wales, or England only?
  5. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Thanks Theo & Scint. I'll let you know the response to "Sorry, I have provided that data once so you should not be asking for it again in a different format." Also wish me luck with "if it's formative you don't need it and if its summative just 3 times a year". TBF - I don't have an issue with anything else on that list - which I'm sure makes me luckier than most.
  6. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    @TheoGriff and @Scintillant thanks for the summaries.

    If I were still in a school I would be making the most of
    because given how little time some of the students put into their classwork/homework I would not be marking that stuff at all!
  7. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Oooooh strikes!

    That was the only bit that made me smile.

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