Abstracts: October 24th, 2007

Reforms affecting the school workforce, particularly the reduction in teachers’ overall hours, have resulted in a revolutionary shift in workforce culture, with clear benefits for many schools. This is the conclusion of the report from Ofsted.Headteachers and senior managers continue to sustain a heavy workload, but increasingly they are supported by well qualified and experienced managers from outside education which is allowing them to allocate more time for strategic leadership and management. The substantial expansion of the wider workforce at all levels is allowing the survey schools to extend the curriculum, provide more care, guidance and support for pupils, and use data more effectively to monitor pupils’ progress.

None of the schools or individual teachers in the survey had quantified their hours or monitored their workload sufficiently to show that workload has reduced. But it was clear that teachers’ time and work are now focused more directly on teaching and learning.

Although many of the schools saw significant benefits as a result of workforce reform, few were evaluating the impact of their actions on raising standards and in contributing to the five outcomes of Every Child Matters. One of the greatest challenges facing school leaders was to provide an increasingly diverse workforce.

The report is available at: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/assets/Internet_Content/Shared_Content/Files/2007/oct/rand_swf.doc