In January 2017, we became one of a handful of schools across the country to receive funding from the National College for research into effectively and efficiently reducing teacher workload whilst maintaining or improving standards. The project was called Workload Challenge Research.

In 2014, the Government established review groups made up of teachers, Head Teachers, Ofsted and union representatives to address the biggest concerns raised by teachers at the time. The 3 review groups focused on marking, planning and resources, and data management.

The project built on the work done by the review groups, by funding school-led research projects to further develop the review groups’ recommendations. The aims of this were for schools to develop:

  • Practices which make sense across all areas of school life
  • Sustainable solutions that tackle workload in each key area, from which other schools can learn
  • Tools and processes that could work as a form of recognition / accreditation for schools which are actively working to keep workload down
  • Ways of evaluating and measuring the impact of practical solutions

We focused on planning and resources, and as a lead school for the project we worked with professional researchers and other partners to investigate the issues associated with reducing workload, as well as developing practical and innovative solutions to address these.

We investigated the ways in which school culture and organisational issues impact on workload, and evaluated the impact in the classroom to ensure workload is reduced without compromising pupil outcomes.

We reported to the National College on our progress regularly, and the final report was written in Autumn 2017. We are very pleased that this has now been published by the DfE, and is available to read here. There is also a summary report, which is here.

If you have questions or would like to find out more about our research, please contact Kyra Ings, Teaching School Administrator at teachingschool@themead.wilts.sch.uk.