teachers to teach, through historic reform of the way teachers and
support staff work in schools, is key to delivering the government's
major education goal - tailor-made learning for every child.
Speaking at a conference in London to mark the six-month anniversary
of a new national agreement to reform the way teachers and support
staff work, Mr Clarke said:
'Our goal is to give every pupil the individual attention they need
to fulfil their potential. We can't do this without radical reform of
the school workforce. We have to free teachers to teach and give
support staff a bigger role. Then every child can get the tailor-made
learning they need to make the most of themselves.
Mr Clarke set out a three-year programme of reform, starting this
September, which will mean more support for teachers in the classroom
to focus on each child.
From 1 September:
- no teacher can be required routinely to undertake clerical and
- provision must be made for teachers and head teachers to enjoy a
reasonable work/life balance
- teachers with management and leadership responsibilities will be
entitled to a reasonable allocation of time within school sessions
to support the discharge of their responsibilities
From September 2004:
- A limit will be placed on the number of hours that a teacher can be
required to cover for absent colleagues. This will be set at 38
hours a year.
- From September 2005:
- All teachers will be given guaranteed time within the school day
for planning preparation and assessment. This should be a minimum
of 10% of their teaching time. Head teachers will have dedicated
time to lead their schools.
In addition, new regulations have been laid before Parliament that
will enable support staff to play a greater role in supporting
teaching and learning in the classroom, under the direction and
supervision of a qualified teacher.
Mr Clarke also praised the constructive way in which the trade unions
who have signed the national agreement have worked with the
government to bring in changes:
'This is the sort of trade unionism I want to do business with.
Grown-up, forward-looking progressive trade unionism. Trade unionism
that is focussed on the big issues and how we solve them. Trade
unionism that delivers results.
'I value this new relationship. I value our partnership.
'I have no time at all for the sort of militant opportunism that some
people still cling to. There are no minority vetoes and old style
vested interests will not stop us from delivering change for the
better. I think that the old time religion has had its day.'
1. The conference was held in London
with the school workforce unions that have signed the agreement. Also
attending were staff from a variety of schools across the country,
representatives from LEAs and members of the national remodelling
team, which is developing a network of support for schoolsin
remodelling the school workforce.
2. The signing of 'Raising Standards and Tackling Workload: a
National Agreement', took place on 15 January 2003, between the
government, employers and school workforce unions. The following
organisations signed the agreement: DfES; Welsh Assembly Government;
ATL; GMB; NAHT; NASUWT; NEOST; PAT; SHA; T&G, and UNISON.
3. The following case studies give their examples of workforce
remodelling in action and the benefits that accrue:
A. School: Cassiobury Junior School
Author: Pauline Moss, Deputy Headteacher
School Type: 243 pupils, mixed, junior
Date: June 2003
As a Senior Leadership Team (SLT) we wanted to alleviate the workload
of all staff and weren't short of ideas about how to do that.
However, it wasn't just about dealing with the 24 tasks. We felt that
anything which supported our colleagues was in both their and the
school's best interests.
The two main issues we wanted to address were teachers' paperwork and
the amount of time this involved spending away from the classroom. We
also wanted to try and improve our overall work/life balance.
Having discussed ideas within the SLT, we opened up the discussion to
all staff. Most of all, people wanted more time to collaborate with
One of our first actions was to implement 'Guaranteed Planning Time'
(GPT). Staff were overwhelmingly appreciative of the opportunity to
complete marking or carry out planning in a regular guaranteed time.
They also welcomed the opportunity to meet advisors and coordinate
their subject more efficiently.
Another initiative was Enrichment Afternoons - collaborations between
assistants, parent volunteers and helpers from the local community to
allow children to experience new activities such as tennis,
bread-making or gardening. While staff agreed that the afternoons had
been very successful we felt that in the future they should focus
more on creative curricular activities.
As a result of our efforts many of the 24 tasks have been addressed.
Teachers have been given GPT throughout the year, all planning is now
on the school network and the school has been accepted as part of a
pilot for an on-line training scheme. Another success was to employ a
Personal Assistant, who carries out a range of tasks, including
standard letter writing, ordering specific resources and bulk
Teachers are now spending less time away from the classroom doing
administration and more time focusing on learning and teaching. In
the coming year we hope to identify a permanent workspace where staff
will be able to carry out planning, continue the Enrichment
Afternoons, further develop the Teaching Assistant role and explore
more ways of reducing teacher workload.
'Staff were overwhelmingly appreciative of the opportunity to
complete marking or carry out planning in a regular guaranteed time.'
B. School: Cirencester Deer Park School
Author: David Carter, Headteacher
School Type: 1,100 pupils, mixed, secondary, technology college,
Date: June 2003
The biggest issue for us was the length of the average working week.
Teachers were working an average of 52 hours a week, 30 of which were
being spent outside the classroom on other tasks. Our long-term
objective was to lower that average to 45, with teachers spending
more time teaching, in order to further improve our standards.
To identify key school development and workload issues, we set up six
Change Management Teams. Every single adult on the payroll was
invited to take part - and everybody did. It captured the imagination
of the whole school staff and brought everyone together on an equal
basis. I presented six areas taken from our School Improvement Plan
and asked everybody which they'd like to work on: homework, ICT, the
school day, extra-curricular activities, the classroom of the future
or supporting learning.
It became apparent that there were a number of jobs which took
teachers away from teaching and learning. We carried out a
mini-evaluation of what people were actually doing and decided to
abandon some of the tasks which didn't have a long-term benefit in
the classroom. This reduced workload and created space, releasing
support staff to work in other areas, such as providing secretarial
help for Heads of Faculties.
We also found that a lot of time was being spent putting up displays.
One of our learning assistants became entirely responsible for this,
thus allowing teachers to focus on teaching whilst also improving the
quality of display.
We already had a no-cover policy and have put in place a Faculty of
Support as a permanent supply team to guarantee th at teachers keep
their free periods.
For us, remodelling was always about sustainable change - our first
tranche of ideas is in place for September 2003, when teachers will
be working an average of four hours less per week and the role of
support staff enhanced throughout the school.
'The Change Process captured the imagination of the whole school
staff and brought everyone together.'
C. School: Kemnal Technology College
Author: John Atkins, Headteacher
School Type: 1,150 pupils, boys, secondary, technology college
Date: June 2003
Between 1990 and 2002 Kemnal went from being a failing school to one
of the most improved schools in the country, but we didn't want to
stop there. We asked three questions: how do we further improve
teaching and learning? How do we reduce teacher workload? How do we
address the teacher shortage? Our conclusion was that we had to
remodel the workforce.
ICT played a major role - we put interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in
each classroom, connected to the teacher's laptop and the internet so
lessons could be kept on a shared drive. We introduced a 'Virtual
Learning Environment' so students could access lessons, homework and
other resources from home. From September, parents will also be able
to access key information.
We are now a no-cover school thanks to coversupervisors who are
trained by the college and who download pre-prepared lessons from our
shared drive. To allow teachers to focus on teaching we have
transferred all administrative tasks to other staff.
In the future we will continue to explore more effective ways of
grouping pupils with enhanced roles for support staff, who already
call the register, give out equipment and do some of the marking. We
have appointed two classroom assistants to support students in Year 9
to raise their SAT levels in core subjects.
Our meetings cycle is a maximum of one meeting a week, no longer than
an h our and always focused on improving teaching and learning. For
the past three years we have had our six Parent Consultations during
the day, improving staff and parent attendance. We also now use
detailed baseline data to track the progress of each student.
Traditional staffing structures have been challenged as we remodel
our workforce. We are convinced that the changes we have already made
will result in improving standards and also impact on recruitment and
retention. A major contribution has been made by our Performance
Management system which provides challenge and support for the whole
'Traditional staffing structures have been challenged as we remodel
D. School: Newton Farm Nursery, First and Middle School
Author: Gill Bland, Maths and PE Coordinator
Type: 308 pupils, mixed, nursery, first and middle, Pathfinder
Date: June 2003
Our immediate aim was to reduce workload, whilst still improving the
quality of education and culture of learning for the children. We
needed to find ways of allowing teachers to concentrate on teaching
and to do this we had to consider how we used existing resources. We
focused on the role of Teaching Assistants (TAs) and our use of ICT.
We formed a Change Management Group made up of a cross-section of
staff from across the school including teachers, assistants, School
Meal Supervisory Assistants and a governor. Our starting points were:
to involve all staff, consider all possibilities, keep positive,
ignore anything that might stop the change and to research other
One of the first things to make an impact was the introduction of
laptops and interactive whiteboards which not only made many daily
tasks much easier, but helped revolutionise our teaching. We
dedicated an INSET session to focus on the revised role of TAs. This
session built confidence and helped bond the whole school staff.
These cha nges helped teachers get back in the classroom to
concentrate more on the children and their learning. As a result,
staff are more energised and relaxed.
The only resource we had failed to tap, however, was the children
themselves. But talking to classes about the Pathfinder project they
were really fired-up and energised, and once the ideas started coming
they didn't stop.
As a teacher, I found the most difficult part of the Pathfinder
process was letting go of the hundreds of non-teaching tasks I had
been doing for 27 years. But this path has been worthwhile and full
of exceptional results for the class and school. My teaching is now
more focused on learning with more creativity and risk-taking. My
time is only being used for the children. With this renewed passion
for my vocation who knows what the future will hold?
'I found the most difficult part of the process was letting go of the
hundreds of non-teaching tasks I had been doing.'
E. School: St Anthony's School
Author: Toby Salt, Headteacher
School Type: 170 pupils, special school for children aged between 4
and 16 with a wide range of complex learning difficulties, Pathfinder
Date: June 2003
LEA: West Sussex
Our aim was to become a special school for the 21st century which
meant engaging more with the local community and offering increased
support to mainstream schools. However, since we deal with pupils
with highly complex needs, we simply didn't have the resources to
take on more responsibilities.
Areas to address included developing the 'Associate Teacher' (AT)
role, allowing teaching staff to focus more on teaching and learning,
and managing the large number of enquiries and visitors better. We
also wanted to use ICT more effectively.
We started the process with a brainstorming conference attended by
all staff and governors where we considered how staff could spend
their time most efficiently and where we needed additional adm in
support to allow teachers to focus on teaching. We were also keen to
harness the enthusiasm of the younger members of staff by developing
a career structure for those who did not want to become qualified
teachers - hence the AT role.
We didn't have a Change Management Team as such, because staff felt
they already had an effective communications system and wanted to
avoid additional meetings and paperwork. However, we agreed that the
change process had to be an integral part of the School Development
We achieved a great deal: we rearranged our use of space to include a
new reception area and meeting space, and hired a receptionist to
deal with visitors, enquiries and a lot of the admin. We also
extended our use of ICT, introducing a campus-wide intranet and
bringing in a part-time technician. We then delegated
responsibilities such as agency liaison and paramedical care to our
new ATs as well as handing over non-teaching tasks to three new
The pupil-adult ratio has now improved in the school and this, along
with the ICT investment, has reduced our teachers' workload. We took
some radical decisions and we are determined to see them all through.
In addition to meeting the increased pressure to work more with
mainstream schools, we have enabled our teachers to develop more
effective teaching styles, focused on individual pupils' needs.
'We have enabled our teachers to develop more effective teaching
styles, focused on individual pupils' needs.'
F. School: St Peter's Roman Catholic High Schooland
Sixth Form Centre
Author: Tony Chesson, Assistant Headteacher
School type: 1,500 pupils, mixed, secondary
Date: June 2003
The catalyst for our remodelling was the National Agreement and the
24 tasks, although we had already been thinking about supplying more
support because our teachers were spending too much time on
W e had previously addressed some of the issues, including using
external invigilators for exams, reducing staff cover and having a
reprographic technician for bulk photocopying.
Following staff consultation our initial focus was on dealing with
issues such as handling money for trips, collecting reply slips and
chasing absence. In looking at these areas we needed to consider how
we were using our existing support staff.
We have built a strong team of support staff with clearly defined
roles, for example, supporting particular year groups. They are
organised by a dedicated Support Administrator and have taken on
tasks such as copy-typing, minuting meetings, record keeping and
filing. We have regular support staff meetings which generate a
strong sense of teamwork and we are now looking at how support and
admin staff can become more involved in display work, stocktaking and
The process has been very open and everybody feels involved. Although
our teachers are still doing a lot of hours, they are now taking much
less work home and we are hoping to reduce their hours further. The
whole process has been very positive and has generated a real team
feeling and a willingness to try things.
'Although our teachers are still doing a lot of hours, they are now
taking much less work home.'