DfE publishes delayed ‘workload reduction toolkit’

The Department for Education has finally published its “workload reduction toolkit”, the day after most schools broke up for the summer.

Ministers had pledged to release the resources – aimed at helping schools reduce unnecessary workload for their teachers – in the spring, but have only just published them this morning.

The toolkit, which was developed “with leading teachers, school leaders and technology experts”, is made up of a series of online resources which the DfE says will help schools identify and address workload problems, and evaluate the impact of their efforts.

But according to a survey published by the government today, 73 per cent of leaders and teachers said their school has already reviewed or updated their policies on workload, while 67 per cent have already reduced or changed marking practices.

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, said he was “very encouraged” that three quarters of school leaders are “taking action” to review workload, and said today’s announcements “and the practical help they provide should give head teachers the confidence and means to go even further”.

“There can be no great schools without great teachers to motivate children and inspire curiosity,” Damian Hinds, the education secretary, said today. “But teachers don’t choose to teach because they want to do endless hours of data entry or deep marking.

“I believe we need to get back to the heart of successful teaching – to strip away the workload that doesn’t add value and give teachers the time to focus on what actually matters, the pupils in front of them.”

The toolkit provides advice and workshops” on the most burdensome tasks such as pupil feedback and marking, planning and resources, and data management”.

There are also “ready-made tools” to help schools “quickly implement new policies” and cut down on “time-consuming tasks such as email communication”.

A series of case studies are also included to share how some schools are already using technology to “streamline” processes. The schools minister, Nick Gibb, has also launched a video made with unions, professional bodies and schools, which provides advice and guidance about planning.

Alongside this toolkit, the School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has today launched the first in a series of online videos – made with teaching unions, professional bodies and schools – providing advice and guidance on workload.

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