£1.2m plan to cut red tape and trim teacher work­load

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

A £1.28m plan to cut “red tape” in schools and re­duce teacher work­load will be pi­loted in schools in Cardiff, Caer­philly, the Vale of Glam­or­gan and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Fund­ing of £642,000 over two years will be matched by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to pro­vide new school busi­ness man­agers in the four South Wales coun­cil ar­eas, as well as seven other Welsh coun­cils.

At the same time, ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary Kirsty Wil­liams and the Chief In­spec­tor for Schools in Wales, Meilyr Row­lands, will launch a new guide for teach­ers on how to re­duce un­nec­es­sary work.

The guide was com­piled with help from teach­ing unions and head­teacher or­gan­i­sa­tions with one de­scrib­ing it as “the first step along the road” to ad­dress­ing work­load.

The joint ini­tia­tives, an­nounced to­day, come af­ter the first com­pre­hen­sive teacher work­load sur­vey in Wales ear­lier this year re­vealed nearly 90% say they are un­able to man­age their work­load.

Now the Welsh Govern­ment’s two-year pi­lot scheme will see groups of pri­mary schools given a school busi­ness man­ager to pro­vide sup­port to both heads and teach­ers, free­ing them up from ad­min­is­tra­tion tasks.

The busi­ness man­agers will help or­gan­ise and run non-teach­ing ac­tiv­ity in schools from fi­nance, ad­min­is­tra­tion and pro­cure­ment, giv­ing head­teach­ers and staff time to fo­cus on lead­er­ship and teach­ing.

“The project is part of a range of ini­tia­tives to help ad­dress teach­ers’ con­cerns over work­load, in­clud­ing a new guide, also launched to­day, on how teach­ers can re­duce un­nec­es­sary ac­tiv­ity, with ad­vice on plan­ning lessons, mark­ing and as­sess­ing and col­lect­ing data,” a Welsh Govern­ment spokesman said.

The guide and other ma­te­ri­als in­clude a staffroom poster and pocket guide high­light­ing what teach­ers should and shouldn’t do when plan­ning lessons, mark­ing, as­sess­ing and col­lect­ing data, as well as clar­i­fy­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions of school in­spec­tion body Estyn.

Speak­ing at the launch at Palmer­ston Pri­mary School in Barry, Ms Wil­liams said: “We are de­ter­mined to give teach­ers more time to do what they do best – plan­ning and teach­ing the best pos­si­ble lessons for their pupils.”

Chris Keates, Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of teach­ers’ union NASUWT, said: “This guid­ance is a first step along the road to pro­vid­ing teach­ers with the pro­fes­sional agency to ex­er­cise con­trol over their work­load.

“This is some­thing that has been sadly lack­ing in the past.”

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