Headlines: August 15th, 2001

The DfES has been criticised in an official study for adding to the burdens of overworked teachers.PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) have released initial findings from their study on behalf of DfES into working practices and workload for teachers

The study’s findings will provide no surprised to the average teacher – they reveal the intensive nature of teachers’ working week, that teachers are undertaking tasks that could be carried out by other staff; the need for more effective use of ICT; and the need for more time to be spent on planning and professional development.

There is also evidence, says the interim study, of wide variations in how workload is managed at school level; and the need for national agencies, including the DfES, to take more account of the impact on teachers’ workload of new initiatives and programmes.

The next phase of the study, to be completed in November, is to explore how workload is managed more effectively in some schools, and how those successes might be taken on more widely.

The Government says it is already responding to some of the problems – with substantially increased investment in support staff and in ICT. It has also already promised to halve the size of the mailbag it regularly sends out to each school with the latest guidance and information.