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TACKLING TEACHER WORKLOAD AND RED TAPE WILL RAISE STANDARDS FURTHER - GOVERNMENT

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Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris today welcomed the ...
Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris today welcomed the

report she commissioned from the school teachers' review body (STRB)

on how standards could be raised within schools by reducing excessive

teacher workload and red tape.

The report recognises many of the secretary of state's concerns and

recommends significant changes to teachers' contracts, including

guaranteed time for preparation of high quality lessons tailored to

meet the needs of individual pupils. It also calls for continuing

professional development to be an entitlement for teachers.

Estelle Morris said:

'This report is an important step in our mission to raise standards

further. It is vital that teachers spend their time teaching, not

doing tasks that can be done by others or helped by better use of

ICT. I welcome the Report's support for this vision.

'Like parents and teachers, we want well-planned lessons that stretch

each pupil and help them to fulfil their potential. The report

recommends time during the week when teachers can plan so there can

be more individualised learning for pupils.

'I welcome the debate that can now be started about the important

principles set out in the Report.'

The report makes a number of other proposals, including targets for

reducing average teacher hours to 45 hours a week over four years. It

also proposes:

- time for senior school managers to manage their schools

- action by government to ensure red tape is minimised

- reforms to the arrangements for cover for absent teachers, to be

measured by reference to the teacher covering rather than the teacher

being covered

- fees and expenses to be paid to extend the entitlement to

continuing professional development for up to five days beyond the

current teacher year of 195 days

- new safeguards for work/life balance

Public consultation on the principles and approaches proposed by the

report will run until 3 July. Following that, the government will

consult on practical measures put forward. Comments will also be

invited from the school workforce remodelling working party

established by Estelle Morris last December. This includes, amongst

others, the local authority employers and the representatives of

headteachers, teachers and other members of the school workforce.

Notes

This press notice refers to England

1. The workload report produced by the School Teachers' Review Body

is available here . The public consultation will

run until 3 July 2002.

2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were commissioned by the department

for education and skills in March 2001 to undertake a study of

teacher workload, in response to one of the recommendations made by

the school teachers' review body in its 2001 report. The work is

being overseen by a steering group that includes representatives from

all the teacher and headteacher associations, the local authority

employers, and the national assembly for Wales and OFSTED.

3. An interim report was published in August 2001. Its findings were

further tested in the next stage of the study, which looked at

practical ways of addressing workload issues. A draft report was

compiled by PwC and discussed by the steering group. Their views,

together with those of other interested bodies, are reflected in the

final report.

4. The final report from PwC set out a number of options to enable

schools to give teachers more time to concentrate on their

professional role of teaching. These options include: more flexible

use of non-teaching staff - both to carry out routine administration

and to supervise lessons under the direction of the class teacher;

wider access to information and communication technology to support a

range of teaching, pastoral and administrative tasks in schools; more

support for headteachers to enable them to lead change within their

schools; and policies developed and implemented by the department to

take more specific account of their impact on the school workforce.

5. On 10 April 2002, 32 schools that will take part in a project to

explore new ways of working to tackle workload were announced.

Read the NUT's reaction to this announcement on LGCnet .

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