The DfE has made it clear this should be a collaborative process involving all staff to ensure that workload is reduced and not simply redistributed.

The toolkit isn’t perfect, but it is an opportunity to win professional control and make a difference in schools. The DfE is encouraging staff to draw on their expertise to identify the main drivers of workload in their school and agree a plan with school leaders to reduce or eliminate practices that do not contribute to teaching and learning.

It contains workshops and resources to use in team meetings and INSET days to start a professional dialogue between staff and leaders to identify unnecessary, time-consuming practices that could be eliminated.

DfE school workload reduction toolkit

Stage 1: identify the issues

  • Use the audit tools provided by the DfE to find out what areas and tasks colleagues in your school are spending time on.
  • You can send out a survey or hold informal workshops to collect the data.

Once you have done this, you will have all the information that you need to move on to stage two.

Stage two: address the issues

To help address the issues you identified in stage one, the DfE have provided specific resources for the following areas of work:

  1. Communications
  2. Curriculum planning
  3. Data management
  4. Feedback and marking
  5. Managing change
  6. Supporting teachers in the early stages of their career
  7. Tips and case studies from school leaders, teachers and sector experts

Then move on to Stage 3.

Stage three: evaluate the impact 

  • Evaluate the impact of the workload review and any changes you have made.

The DfE has provided a checklist to help evaluate the impact, along with two examples of how a school has set up a well-being committee and a workload and wellbeing action plan.

Reducing workload in schools: joint letter to all school leaders

The Secretary of State (SoS) for Education has written a letter on reducing workload to all leaders across the country supporting reducing teacher and support staff workload and making clear recommendations on data management gathering.

If you're an NEU rep, we want you to ask your school leader if they've read the Workload Advisory Group report and the letter.