Recruitment and retention

Workload continues to result in a retention obstacle, writes Reka Budai, but we\’re missing vital detail to deal with it by concentrating on lesson scheduling as a driver

Workload carries on to cause a retention challenge, writes Reka Budai, but we are missing vital element to tackle it by concentrating on lesson scheduling as a driver


Reka Budai

17 Oct 2022, 17:30


Speaking about teacher workload can sense a little bit like Groundhog Working day, and the most modern proof suggests there’ll be no escape any time shortly.

Just about two-thirds (61 per cent) of lecturers say they are performing extended hours than a calendar year ago, according to Instructor Tapp, up from 47 for each cent in 2018. The exact Trainer Tapp research also reminds us nevertheless once more that training is significantly from a 9-to-5 position. The proportion of instructors now working a 50-hour-moreover week is 48 per cent. 

Workload has a corrosive outcome on the sector.  The NFER’s yearly report states that “workload is the purpose most cited by ex-academics for why they still left teaching”, and proper now that is particularly urgent simply because too many academics are leaving in advance of retirement age.

Workload is a complicated issue but it is the contribution built by lesson scheduling that we are most familiar with at Oak Nationwide Academy. It is the one most time-consuming, non-teaching process, and an activity pretty much all lecturers require to do. So we have pulled alongside one another the info from our platform along with study we have executed amid instructors in a new report, Teachers’ Views: Workload and Curriculum to investigate it in more element and what might aid decrease it.  

To research or to make?

The much more research classes we perform with lecturers at Oak, the much more apparent it is that lecturers strategy lesson arranging in two distinct ways (additionally a mix of the two), every with its very own gains and pitfalls.

1 approach is to generate means from scratch, which 46 per cent of principal and 29 for every cent of secondary academics say they do. Some of our individual investigate participants explained to us that working with conveniently readily available means can really feel like a ‘cop-out’, as if they are not doing their positions thoroughly, which could possibly describe this

The second is to lookup for existing sources. This may look on the surface area to be a overcome-all to make lesson setting up significantly less time-consuming, but the 5,000 lecturers we surveyed told us what is most difficult to find are large-good quality, evidence-based and free of charge sources. 

Preferably, they want these to be easily adaptable and sequenced into comprehensive techniques of operate far too. All of which would make finding resources on the internet a important physical exercise. A Teacher Tapp survey found that the ordinary most important instructor spends among 1 and 3 several hours exploring for resources every week, and secondary lecturers up to an hour.

Rightly,  more than two-thirds of lecturers say that they cannot visualize employing methods established by an individual else devoid of adaptation. Following all, they know their pupils and contexts most effective. 

A alter of society

The NFER also notes that a sense of autonomy is an crucial component in trainer retention. Even so, we need to don\’t forget that teachers increase huge benefit throughout lesson delivery by itself, irrespective of the assets they use. It is they – not resources – who deliver explanations, continually check for knowing, give comments and develop associations. 

Lesson scheduling is a crucial element of the task, but loads of teachers we converse to see the gains of drawing on externally-made sources. As aspect of our independent once-a-year analysis, ImpactEd uncovered just below fifty percent (42 for every cent) of Oak person academics reported that utilizing the sources lowered their workload, on normal by 3 hours for every 7 days.

In switch, this authorized them to shell out this freshly located time on other points like supporting extra vulnerable pupils. Non-specialist teachers in distinct found conveniently available resources developed by professionals helpful with their setting up system.

So perhaps the concentration on lesson arranging as a driver of workload demands to be a lot more nuanced. Organizing lessons is a series of complicated processes, of which producing or obtaining sources is only one particular. External means have a portion to engage in right here and must not undermine instructor autonomy. If we can get the equilibrium ideal, academics will have a lot more time to do the items only they can – and get nearer to a affordable doing the job week. 

They are the types in demand. Assets should really consider the back seat.