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