From education to employment

Decreasing workload and increasing pay for teachers


Today’s Education in the Media looks at the latest Ofsted report on teacher wellbeing, as well as a new pay rise for teachers, reforms to Level 3 Qualifications and an article by the Education Secretary on reducing pollution near schools.

Ofsted Report

Today, Monday 22 July, Ofsted has published their end of year report on teacher wellbeing. The report looks at a range of issues and makes recommendations to reduce administration tasks in schools and colleges, cutting general workload and supporting leaders to implement behaviour policies. 

Reducing workload is a key priority for the department – last July we published a workload reduction toolkit, which we worked on with school leaders and teachers. This has been collectively downloaded over 158,000 times since becoming available.

To further help teachers, we have also recently announced a £10 million behaviour support network scheme to improve behaviour in schools across the country.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We know that poor behaviour damages teachers’ morale and increases workload and stress, which is why we want schools to instil cultures of good behaviour from top to bottom. Where staff are struggling, we trust headteachers to take action to address the causes and ensure teachers have the support they need.

We are also tackling excessive data burdens in schools; simplifying the accountability system to target the associated burdens and working with Ofsted to ensure staff workload is considered as part of a school’s inspection judgement.

In March, the Secretary of State announced the launch of an Expert Advisory Group to look at how teachers and school leaders can be better supported to deal with the pressures of the job, which builds on our Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy which focuses on the importance of developing supportive cultures.

Teacher Pay

Today (22 Jul), the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced there will be a pay rise handed to almost one million public sector workers, including teachers. The Education Secretary Damian Hinds has accepted all the recommendations from the independent School Teachers’ Review Body to raise the upper and lower boundaries of all pay ranges by 2.75%.

Schools will continue to determine how staff are paid, but the increase in pay will be supported by an additional £105 million to be paid through the teachers’ pay grant, on top of the £321 million already committed for the 2019-20 financial year.

This will help schools to maximise the money they spend on the frontline, focusing resources on where it matters most – the classroom.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Over the last year and a half, I’ve met hundreds of teachers, leaders and staff in schools and have been inspired by their dedication to do the best for the children and young people they work with.

Today’s announcement of a 2.75% pay rise for teachers, accepting the STRB’s recommendations in full, means that teachers and heads can receive a pay rise above current rates of inflation and have more money in their pockets.

If we want the best people working in our classrooms then it’s right that we ensure their salaries recognise the vital nature of their work and the potentially life changing impact they can have on the lives of our children..

Level 3 Qualifications

As part of our reforms, 160 low quality Level 3 Qualifications will have their funding removed from 2020 to ensure that students take newer, more rigorous and higher quality versions.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

We want young people to be confident that whatever option they choose after their GCSEs will be high-quality, valued by employers and will lead to a good, well-paid job. This is at the heart of everything we are doing to reform technical and vocational education in this country.

I have previously said you cannot legislate for parity of esteem between technical and academic education – you’ve got to ensure high standards, then the esteem will come. Our unrelenting focus on improving the quality of the qualifications available is key to this.

The current system is confusing and complicated, with more than 12,000 qualifications available at Level 3 and below. We are reviewing qualifications to boost the quality of the options out there so more students and parents will trust them.

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