Background to the workload toolkit
As part of Department for Education (DfE) action to support schools in reducing workload, it launched a series of online resources or a 'workload toolkit' to support school leaders and teachers to help review and reduce workload in their schools.
NAHT worked with the team to support the development and revisions to the toolkit, while continuing to press the DfE and others to tackle the system drivers of workload. You can access full details about NAHT's campaigning here.
There is no obligation for schools to use the toolkit and schools are not specifically required to use any of the tools or examples over other approaches that have already been proven to work. However, the toolkit does provide some useful resources for school leaders to engage staff in reviewing workload, and we would encourage you to take the time to consider the resources, and current workload practices in school.
As part of this work, the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) commissioned 11 school-based research reports to investigate practical and sustainable solutions for tackling teacher workload and provide evidence of the impact of successful workload reduction strategies in relation to data management, planning and marking; for more information click here.
In March 2019, the DfE launched revised guidance and tools for the following areas:
The DfE has also updated the Implementing your school's approach to pay: guidance for maintained schools and local authorities to reflect recommendations around reducing workload.
The workload toolkit is divided into three parts and is designed so schools can work through each stage, although the tools can also be used as standalone materials too. All tools can be tailored and customised to fit the situation in your own school.
Section 1: identifying the workload issues in your school(s)
This section has advice and tools to help school leaders and staff use the toolkit and identify areas of high workload that could be addressed. Tools include:
- structured conversation template to gather feedback from staff;
- impact graph workshop;
- staff workload survey.
Section 2: Guidance, training materials and practical tools to address specific areas
These resources aim to support school leaders and teachers to reduce workload throughout their school(s). The resources are grouped into themes that have been identified as issues which could led to high workload in schools:
The resources include advice and workshops that can be used to structure an INSET day, staff meeting or training session in a school or group of schools. There are also a number of ready-made tools, as well as case studies, of schools implementing a similar approach.
Section 3: Evaluating the impact
The toolkit includes a checklist to record a quick summary of actions and help evaluate the changes.
The DfE intends to review and update the resources regularly, and is keen to hear from individuals on how they might be dealing with workload, how they are using the toolkit, and about any innovative and effective solutions that could be considered for inclusion in the toolkit. You can contact the teacher workload unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated 29 March 2019
First published 29 March 2019