Workload challenge research projects: overall summary

Carol Robinson, David Pedder

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Three reports from the Independent Teacher Review Groups (DfE, 2016a; DfE, 2016b; and DfE, 2016c) included findings from the Department for Education (DfE) Workload Challenge Survey in which 56% of respondents indicated that data management caused unnecessary workload (DfE, 2016a, 6), 38% identified detailed lesson and weekly planning as adding an unnecessary burden to their workload (DfE, 2016b, 6), and 53% thought that the excessive nature, depth and frequency of marking was burdensome (DfE, 2016c, 6). The National College for Teaching and Leadership commissioned 11 school-based research projects to investigate practical and sustainable solutions for tackling teacher workload and provide evidence of impact of successful workload reduction strategies related to data management, planning and marking. The majority of the research projects were conducted in existing networks of schools, comprising between three and 25 schools; primary, secondary and, in a small number of cases, middle schools and special schools were involved in these projects. In all cases, the schools and networks of schools involved in the projects identified aspects of policy and practice relating to either data management, planning or marking as a focus for their research. This summary report details findings from the analysis of the 11 commissioned research projects, and a further independent research report. The analysis aimed to determine the methods trialled to reduce teacher workload around data management, planning and marking, and resulting outcomes on teacher workload and pupil outcomes. The overall conclusions drawn from the review of the research reports suggest studies that trialled interventions also reported successful reductions in teacher workload without impacting negatively on pupil outcomes. Additionally, studies that developed recommendations for, but did not trial, interventions reported that teachers were confident that once implemented, the interventions would lead to a reduction in their workload. Specific organisational and cultural factors were found to be significant in both facilitating and impeding the implementation of new initiatives
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment for Education
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

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