Teachers in England work an average of 54 hours a week, while school leaders work in excess of 60, according to the DfE’s own workload survey. Support staff regularly work beyond their contracted hours. Excessive hours spent on unnecessary tasks driven by the accountability regime does not help pupils learn and is contributing to the recruitment and retention crisis. 

The Secretary of State for Education has written a letter about the importance of reducing workload in schools and there is the DfE toolkit- online practical resources for school leaders and teachers to help reduce workload.

DfE advice on reducing workload in schools

The Government has previously advised leaders on reducing teacher and support staff workload and made clear recommendations on data management gathering. The then Workload Advisory Group recommended that objectives and performance management discussions should not be based on teacher generated data and predictions or solely on the assessment data for a single group of pupils.

Ofsted should ensure that inspectors do not ask to see performance management targets based on assessment data during inspections. The DfE and Ofsted have fully backed all the recommendations in the report on tackling workload including advice on reducing workload around appraisal and performance management.  

School's approach to data management must:

  • minimise or eliminate the number of pieces of information teachers are expected to compile
  • have simple systems for logging behaviour incidents and other pastoral information
  • review and reduce the number of attainment data collection points a year and how these are used – as a rule, it should not be more than two or three a year.