The 5 Ws of teacher-workload reduction

Innovate My School

Innovate My School specialises in supplying school leaders and teachers with the latest and greatest in education. From exciting new products and services to alternative teaching and learning practices, we empower educators to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead proactively and, most importantly, feel inspired. To write for Innovate My School, or to organise a free event for your school cluster or network, contact [email protected]

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Image credit: Pexels // energepic. Image credit: Pexels // energepic.

On Friday 15th June, the ultimate teacher-workload reduction initiative will commence. Kicking off at Wigan’s DW Stadium, the Lead LIVE roadshow will look to significantly reduce teacher workload in schools across the country… and tickets are free-of-charge. Scroll down for the 5 Ws: why, who, what, when, and where...

Why teacher workload?

Teachers are strapped for time. We hear this from both schools and the suppliers trying to help. We obviously love to share amazing technology and strategies, but if educators don’t have the time to implement them, then they’re unlikely to have an impact. As education secretary Damian Hinds said in March:

“One of the biggest threats to schools’ recruitment and retention of teachers is workload. The key to education is the person standing at the front of the class. I believe we need to get back to the heart of successful teaching - to strip away the workload that doesn’t add value, and give teachers the time to focus on what actually matters.

“Too many of our teachers and our school leaders are working too long hours - and on non-teaching tasks that are not helping children to learn.”

YouTube link

This follows the DfE’s launching of a month-long survey where they asked teachers for their views on how to reduce unnecessary workload. Identifying marking, planning, and data management as the three biggest issues facing teacher workload, over 44,000 educators took part. And that’s why we’re running this roadshow: because teacher workload is a huge issue that needs addressing.

Who can attend?

School leaders - from heads of department to executive principals, curriculum coordinators to business managers - are invited to head to their nearest Lead LIVE event and overhaul the status quo. Where possible, we encourage you to bring a colleague - ensuring that your school’s needs are fully represented and discussed. Tickets are completely free-of-charge. Just turn up with an appetite for innovation - and food!

What can attendees expect on the day?

For one, we can confirm the Chartered College Of Teaching will be be running interactive sessions to tackle your top five workload issues at all six events. As Joe Treacy, the Chartered College’s head of member relations and partnerships, puts it: “We’re excited to be taking part because we can showcase both the importance of evidence-informed teaching, and the difference it could make to the teaching profession.”

SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers network, are going to be unleashing the Bananarama-inspired ‘It ain’t what you do, but the way that you do it... and that’s what get results!’. Speakers Andy Williams and Corinne Settle will discuss how teacher workload can be reduced through the sharing of resources, ideas and reflections through a teacher learning community (TLC).

Tim Sherriff - headteacher, NLE, Ofsted inspector and member of the NAHT’s Assessment and Accountability Group - will be speaking at four of the roadshow’s events. Tim led the Wigan WOWS headteacher group that recently completed a 12 month DfE study into reducing workload using assessment without levels. Here, Tim will be sharing the study’s findings, and will look at how schools can begin to implement changes immediately.

Left to right: Joe Treacy, Andy Williams, Corinne Settle, Tim Sherriff

Each of the roadshow’s six events will also feature the essential local element, with senior leaders from each of the host schools sharing the innovative methods that they have been utilising to reduce teacher workload. With this element, each event will be unique. Be sure to check out the individual events pages for more details!

And of course, this wouldn’t be an Innovate My School event without a Speed Dating session.

Speed dating?!

Yes indeed. This is where attendees will sit down with 10 of the most exciting edtech providers that are shaving hours off their school customers’ schedules. Through over 180 fun, zero-hard-sell sessions, 3389 school leaders have discovered the resources available to meet their individual schools’ needs - all while a countdown timer keeps proceedings breezy and concise.

As headteacher Bretta Townend-Jowitt puts it: “By utilising Speed Dating, schools are able to evaluate the usefulness of each of the products without the pressure of a one-to-one sales pitch, thus skipping the awkward end-of-pitch “no thanks”. Senior leaders can then decide whether to pursue the product further to determine if the investment in time and money will support staff workload."

When and where?

Wigan - 15th June 2018
Manchester - 22nd June 2018
Suffolk - 28th June 2018
Birmingham - 6th July 2018
Wellingborough - 5th October 2018
Peterborough - 2nd November 2018

Matt Baker, headteacher at St Alban’s High School (host of 28th June’s event) says: “Here at St Albans, we view challenges in education through a lens of opportunity - a relentless call to innovate the experiences for our young people. It gives us great pleasure to host our local Lead LIVE event, showcasing best practice with Innovate My School. As school leaders, it is essential that we work cooperatively, in order to improve the daily working lives for all the stakeholders associated with us.

“Workload management should mean that we concentrate our thoughts and actions on working for progress, quality-assuring our day-to-day activities to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Whether you are seeking a bold and blended curriculum pathway, innovative use of staffing, or inventive techniques to offer new support and engagement for students, my staff and I look forward to welcoming you to this amazing occasion, packed full of new concepts and solutions.”

Simon Howe, head of the Dean Trust Teaching School (host of 22nd June’s event) adds: “We’re looking forward to extending a warm welcome to all our visitors at the Manchester Lead LIVE event. We are very much looking forward to working together on the opportunity to address the teacher workload, which affects all of us in schools today. I say ‘teacher’, but this descriptor could, and arguably should, be extended to teaching assistants, leaders, governors, parents and even the pupils!”


If I’m not a school leader, can I still help make a difference?

Absolutely. Workload is one of the issues being tackled by the major survey that we’re currently running. The survey will support our new initiative to help schools procure edtech more effectively, and will be produced into an insightful report.

If you’re currently working in a school (UK or otherwise) and want to make your voice heard, fill in our five-minute survey here.

Any questions?

If you’d like to discuss any of the above, please do get in touch on [email protected] or 01244 312720. We look forward to seeing you on the road! Visit www.innovatemyschool.com/upcoming-events for the full schedule and lineup.

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