Commenting on the passing of motion 12 at the National Education Union’s Annual Conference, which is being held virtually, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Analysis after analysis and survey upon survey continue to demonstrate that teacher workload remains unsustainable and is the main driver for leaving the profession. The pandemic has only made matters worse. That is why NEU Conference is calling for more practical steps that NEU members say will achieve the goal of reducing workload. 

“The steps that the Department for Education has taken towards reducing teacher workload are welcome but have clearly not had the desired effect. If the DfE is serious about teacher workload and wellbeing, it should listen to NEU members and implement the steps proposed around accountability, data, marking, administrative tasks and working time. These sensible changes concerning staff working time, including reinstating guidance to limit time spent on cover and administrative tasks, would radically help to reduce teacher workload to more manageable levels. 

“Annual Conference has also endorsed the NEU’s aim of pursuing improvements on workload with individual schools and employers, as part of a broader programme to restore workplace bargaining on professional issues.

“Ever since the introduction of performance related pay (PRP), there has been no evidence to support its appropriateness or effectiveness in teaching. The obvious detrimental impact of PRP on teacher workload shows that it is unreasonable to continue pursuing a policy that adds nothing to the general quality of teaching students receive.  The increasing number of academies and schools moving away from PRP for these very reasons offers another clue to the DfE about action it can take to reduce workload in schools.

“The DfE acknowledges that workload is a serious issue in education that needs to be resolved but continues to refuse to take the required and practical steps that will help.  That is why the NEU will continue its campaign for measures to achieve the reductions needed.”