Workload matters


The overwhelming majority of teachers and school leaders now cite workload as their number one concern about their jobs.


The NASUWT has issued a range of action short of strike action instructions which, if implemented fully, will have a positive impact on reducing excessive workload and working hours and empower teachers to take control of their professional lives. The instructions cover: Marking / Meetings / Performance management / Inspection / Reporting to parents / Working practices / Cover - and many other workload matters.



National Action Instructions to NASUWT Members - phase 5
Action Instructions PHASE 5.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [218.9 KB]
Workload Bulletin
Adobe Acrobat document [95.7 KB]

Working together on workload

The Secretary of State for Education, Ofsted and the leadership of ASCL have all committed to ‘Working Together on Workload’. Amanda Spielman, the Ofsted Chief Inspector along with Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director for Education all made their promises to tackle workload at the National Conference of the Association of School and College Leaders which was held in Birmingham in March 2018 – just three weeks before the NASUWT Annual Conference 2018 held at the same venue.

Are head teachers and leadership teams in schools listening?

In this film Amanda Speilman, Sean Harford and others talk plainly about the drivers of excessive and unnecessary workload blighting the working lives of teachers and fuelling the recruitment and retention crises.

The NASUWT wants to know why so many school leaders have failed to address these drivers of excessive workload for teachers in their schools.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector.

“When I see NQTs brimming with passion … I think it’s an utter travesty that so many lose their early enthusiasm because of the pressures of the job. Especially when so many of those pressures are entirely unnecessary … that’s what endless data captures, triple marking, 10 page lesson plans, and, worst of all, mocksteds are: a distraction … And a costly distraction at that.”


Read the full text of the Chief Inspector’s speech to the ASCL National Conference in March 2018.


Amanda Spielman's speech at the ASCL annual conference 2018

School Inspections from September 2019

The Education Inspection Framework (2019)
Framework for inspections carried out, respectively, under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 (as amended), section109 of the Education and Skills Act 2008, the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the Childcare Act 2006.
Education Inspection Framework SEPT2019.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [265.2 KB]
School Inspection Handbook 2019
Handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
School Inspection Handbook (Section 5) S[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [720.0 KB]
NASUWT Briefing Bulletin JUNE 2019
A summary of the key changes to Ofsted Inspections from September 2019
Adobe Acrobat document [239.8 KB]
Solihull NASUWT Briefing (Ofsted Inspection Handbook 2019)
Key paragraphs and references from the School Inspection Handbook 2019
Adobe Acrobat document [246.5 KB]

Reports of the Independent review groups on workload

The DfE commissioned three independent review groups on teacher workload. Each group produced a detailed report with very clear and specific recommendations to all involved in education. The reports address unnecessary workload associated with marking, planning and data management and have been accepted in their entirety by the DfE for implementation in schools. Membership of the review groups and those in attendance included classroom teachers, school leaders, education consultants, Union officials, HMI and Ofsted. The reports are available for downloading here.

Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking
Adobe Acrobat document [463.5 KB]
Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources
Adobe Acrobat document [575.4 KB]
Eliminating unnecessary workload associated with data management
Adobe Acrobat document [400.5 KB]

Also see:

The Final Report of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels (September 2015)
The report offers guidance and support to help schools in designing their own assessment policies, in parallel with their curriculum policies.
Commission on Assessment Without Levels [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [961.9 KB]
Solihull NASUWT Model Assessment Policy and Marking Guidance
The ‘Report of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group: Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking’ stems from the National Workload Challenge initiated by the Secretary of State. Classroom teachers, school leaders, Unions and Ofsted were all represented on this review body.
Adobe Acrobat document [362.0 KB]