New research and guidance on reducing teacher workload

In line with the government’s efforts to reduce teachers’ workload, the Department for Education (DfE) has released the 2019 Teacher Workload Survey research report aimed to establish the views of school leaders and teachers on their workloads and working environments. The results from an online survey submitted to teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders across 1,203 schools in England were compared to results collected from a survey consisting of the same questions in 2016.

The survey found that the average “self-reported working hours” have reduced from 54.4 hours to 49.5 hours per week for teachers and from 60.5 to 55.1 hours per week for leaders. Additionally, the time that primary and secondary teachers and middle leaders spend working outside of the school working day has reduced in comparison to 2016. Nevertheless, the data still demonstrates that 70 per cent of primary school teachers and middle leaders and 76 per cent of secondary school teachers and middle leaders could not complete their assigned work within contracted hours. Furthermore, while 55 per cent of respondents stated that schools had taken steps to address issues, including making changes to data tracking, school behaviour, marking, feedback and teacher appraisal, only 20 per cent of respondents felt that such changes had resulted in workload reduction. Most successfully, 40 per cent of respondents noted that feedback and marking changes had been positive in terms of workload.