The report of a Welsh National Assembly project to reduce bureaucratic burdens on schools has been approved by the assembly, and is available here.
Jane Davidson, the Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning said:
'This is the first time that the overall bureaucratic burden on schools in Wales has been looked at in detail. The report considers individual elements of school activity in a systematic way and makes recommendations about reducing their bureaucratic impact. The recommendations will lead to change at national and local level.'
Ms Davidson went on to say that the report is a starting point. 'I know that the project has raised hopes of radical change and that there will be disappointment in some quarters that it does not do enough: but the report is grounded in what is realistic and possible and the Assembly is committed to the long haul. '
'The National Assembly has also approved the funding of£1000 to every school at the beginning of next term. I hope that this modest assistance will help schools to manage their bureaucratic burdens until the impact of the report starts to be felt. The total cost to the Assembly is around£2m.'
'I am grateful to Mandy Paish, deputy headteacher of Tongwynlais Primary School who was seconded to the Assembly for 12 months to carry out the project and produce the report , for all her work; and to all those who have contributed - including the member organisations of the advisory group.'
'I commend this report to schools and to the bodies which work with them. It signals a clear direction, which I hope schools recognise will impact on their workload and improve their capacity to focus on teaching and learning. I believe it will bring welcome change I hope it will also be a catalyst for useful work at local level in LEAs and in schools themselves.'
The 'burdens' report and a special Grant Report which authorises the funding was debated in plenary on 10 July. The£1000 will be available for schools to use for any activity that would help manage their burdens. This could include employing additional administrative support ; providing supply cover to enable teachers or headteachers to work on administrative tasks relating to their teaching responsibilities; or investing in resources or review work. The funding will have a disproportionate benefit for small schools which often face particular difficulty in managing administrative burdens.
The project began in September 2000 and was led by Mandy Paish, seconded deputy headteacher of Tongwynlais Primary School.
Research for the project was informed by visits to schools throughout Wales and meetings with bodies that work with schools in Wales and further afield. An advisory group involving representatives of local authorities, teacher organisations, other partner bodies and Assembly officials was consulted throughout the project.
The report takes forward the commitment in the partnership agreement ' Putting Wales First' to reducing the burden of paperwork on schools.