Managing Teacher Workload: Work-Life Balance and Wellbeing
Publication Year: 2004
By showing you what you can do to assess, manage, and reduce the time you spend on school work, this book will help you achieve a better work-life balance.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Section A: Wellbeing and Workload
- Chapter 1: What Do We Know about Teacher Workload and Wellbeing?
- Teacher Workload
- Recruitment and Retention
- Chapter 2: What's Happening to Help Address Workload and Wellbeing?
- Remodelling the School Workforce
- What Help is There?
- Staff Wellbeing
- Recruitment and Retention
- Section B: How Do You Change it?
- Chapter 3: Why is Managing Change Not Easy?
- What is Change and Why Change?
- Why Managing Change is Complex
- Models for Changing Workload and Wellbeing
- Lessons to Be Learned
- Chapter 4: How Do You Spend Your Worktime?
- The ATL Worktime Audit
- How to Complete the Audit
- The Pilot
- Collective Auditing
- Chapter 5: How Do You Take Care of Yourself – and others?
- Work-Life Balance
- Time Management
- Managing Stress
- Make Your School a Better Place to Work in
- Section C: Individual and School Strategies
- Chapter 6: How Can Teachers Save Time in the Classroom?
- What are the Big Time-Consumers?
- Working with Teaching Assistants
- Report Writing
- Chapter 7: Support Staff: What Do We Need to Think About?
- The Range of Support Staff
- Support Staff Taking Classes
- Higher Level Teaching Assistants
- Administrative Support
- Chapter 8: How Do School Leaders Develop Skills and Manage Workload?
- Current Picture
- Effective Leadership and Management
- What Can Be Done?
About the Author
© Sara Bubb and Peter Earley 2004
First published 2004
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.
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List of Figures and Tables[Page vii]
- Figure 1.1 Average hours worked by full-time teachers in a week in March 2003 4
- Table 1.1 Teacher workload study 5
- Table 1.2 Comparing the hours worked by teachers in a week in March 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2003 5
- Table 1.3 Average hours worked by full-time classroom teachers 7
- Table 2.1 Tasks that teachers should not have to do 17
- Figure 2.1 The support network for remodelling 20
- Figure 2.2 The structure of the Well-Being project 25
- Figure 2.3 The effects of the Well-Being project on 84 Norfolk schools 27
- Figure 3.1 The change equation 35
- Figure 3.2 A six-step review process 41
- Figure 3.3 Suggestions about managing change from case study schools 43
- Table 4.1 The job of a teacher broken down into grouped activities 47
- Table 4.2 Running record of how you spend your worktime 48
- Table 4.3 Example of running record 49
- Table 4.4 Daily summary 50
- Table 4.5 Benchmark yourself against other teachers' working hours 51
- Table 4.6 A worktime action plan 54
- Table 4.7 Cost-benefit analysis 56
- Table 4.8 How different teachers spent their time in one week (percentages) 57
- Table 4.9 Examples of worktime changes 59
- Table 5.1 How do you spend your time? 64
- Figure 5.1 Work-related factors causing stress 70
- Table 6.1 Average hours worked by classroom teachers 80
- Table 6.2 Problems with support assistants 84
- Table 6.3 Plan for an additional adult 86
- Table 6.4 An action plan for writing reports 90
- Table 7.1 Numbers of support staff 94
- Table 7.2 Types of support staff 95
- Table 8.1 Average hours worked by full-time heads 110
- Table 8.2 Average hours worked by full-time deputy and assistant headteachers 110
- Table 8.3 Distribution of total hours worked by full-time heads of department in secondary schools 110
- Table 8.4 Average hours worked by full-time heads of department in secondary schools 111
- Figure 8.1 Leadership and management: managing the workforce 113
- Figure 8.2 Tackling the concerns of heads: examples from an LEA 116
- Table 8.5 Are you a procrastinator? 121
- Figure 8.3 Effective delegation 122
We would like to thank all those who helped and contributed in some way to the writing of this book. We'd also like to thank all the teachers who come on our continuing professional development (CPD) and higher degree courses. They stimulate thought and help keep our feet on the ground!
Also thanks must go to Anique Laverdure for her help with the ATL project.
Most of all, we must thank our families – especially Paul, Julian, Miranda, Oliver, John and Diana, and Jackie, Amy and Jess – for their encouragement and tolerance.
List of Abbreviations[Page ix]
ATL Association of Teachers and Lecturers CIPD Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CPD continuing professional development CSBM Certificate of School Business Management DfES Department for Education and Skills GTC General Teaching Council GTP graduate teacher programme HLTA higher level teaching assistant HMI Her Majesty's Inspectorate HoD Head of Department HSE Health and Safety Executive IAM Institute of Administrative Management ICT information and communications technology IEP Individual education plan (for pupils with SEN) IiP Investors in People INSET in-service education and training IRU Implementation Review Unit IWB interactive whiteboard KS Key Stage LEA local education authority Lig Leadership incentive grant LM learning mentor LMS Local management of schools LRA learning resource assistant LSA learning support assistant LSC Learning and Skills Council LT Leadership team MARRA monitoring assessment, recording, reporting and accountability NASUWT National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers NCSL National College for School Leadership NCT Non-contact time NHSS National Healthy School Standard NJC National Joint Council for Local Government Services NPQH National professional qualification for headship NRT National Remodelling Team NVQ national vocational qualification NQT newly qualified teacher NUT National Union of Teachers Ofsted Office for Standards in Education OSR organizational self-review [Page x]PM Performance management PPA planning, preparation and administration PSHE personal, social and health education PwC PriceWaterhouseCoopers QCA Qualification and Curriculum Authority QTS Qualified Teacher Status SAT standard assessment task SBM School Business Manager SCT school change team SDP School development plan SEN special educational needs SENCO Special educational needs co-ordinator SHA Secondary Heads Association SLT Senior leadership team SMT senior management team SNA special needs assistant STA specialist teacher assistant STRB School Teachers'Review Body TA teaching assistant TES Times Educational Supplement TPA teacher's personal assistant TSL Teacher Support Line TSN Teacher Support Network TTA Teacher Training Agency TUC Trades Union Congress UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization VLE virtual learning environment WA welfare assistant WAMG Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group VRQ vocationally relevant qualification
It is difficult to pick up a newspaper today without coming across an article or feature about education, especially one concerning teacher workload or recruitment and retention. Of course these are related and are often considered alongside the associated notions of staff wellbeing and teacher and headteacher stress. These are all big issues and ones which culminated in January 2003 when the government signed a ‘historic’ national agreement with the employers, head-teacher associations and school workforce unions (with the notable exception of the largest teacher union, the National Union of Teachers). The agreement, which followed on from the proposals outlined in Time for Standards (DfES, 2002a), aims to help schools, teachers and support staff meet the challenges that lie ahead. It proposes action designed to help schools raise standards and tackle issues of workload. As the government Minister at the time said: ‘we want to free up teachers’ time to concentrate on what they do best – teaching'. The signatories to the agreement are acting together at a national level in the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group to oversee the delivery of a seven-point plan designed to create time for teachers and heads to improve standards. (Further details of the various phases of the national agreement which are statutory and affect staff contracts are outlined later in the book.)
It was within this context of work intensification and increased teacher workload being very high on the political agenda that we were commissioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in the autumn of 2002 to undertake a six-month research and development project. We were invited to work with ATL teacher members to develop and trial a ‘workload self-audit’ – a tool that teachers could use to ascertain how many hours they were working each week and how they were using their time, with a view to considering how that time might be best used for professional purposes (teaching and learning), to enhance job satisfaction and to achieve a better work-life balance. It was our work on the self-audit that led to us to want to write this book.
There were several other factors, too, that made us feel there was a clear need for a book of this type. One of us (SB) has worked for many years with newly qualified teachers, both as a trainer and as a Times Educational Supplement (TES) agony aunt, and was very aware of the many things affecting their work – and life! – and the need to provide effective means of support to help prevent the high drop-out rate experienced within the teaching profession within the first three years of service. The other (PE) had researched and taught on various aspects of ‘human resource management’ and was very aware of the growing interest in such matters as staff wellbeing, stress management and the notion that some organizations were more ‘toxic’ than others! Also as a secondary school governor for many years, chairing the Personnel and Staff Development Committee, there was an awareness of recent high-profile stress cases with their legal implications for employers. In addition it was becoming apparent that some [Page xii]government initiatives such as Investors in People, Healthy Schools and the Well-Being Programme had a lot to offer schools as they increasingly focused their efforts, rightly, on their people. After all if a school is spending the vast bulk of its budget on its staff, it makes sense to ensure the ‘human resources’ are giving of their best and that the school and governing body is a ‘good employer’. This also makes a lot of sense for those schools finding it difficult to recruit staff – after all, if you have a choice as to where to teach where would you prefer to go – a school that is concerned with your welfare or one that is not?
The need for a book dealing with all these issues was obvious we thought, but we also felt that what was needed was not so much an academic tome but rather a concise, ‘teacher-friendly’ guide to this burgeoning field. We wanted to provide an overview by setting the scene but we also wished, by drawing on relevant research and writing, to offer a critical eye on what's happening rather than just following the government's agenda. What, for example, is the reality of workload reform in a time of budget constraints?
Of course the reader must be the judge of how successful we have been, but hopefully we will have achieved our main aim of offering the busy practitioner an overview of what's happening in this field, along with some suggestions and advice as to how to improve matters at both individual and school level.
The book is divided into three sections. We begin by looking at wellbeing and workload. What do we know about teacher workload and how teachers spend their time, what are the causes and effects of excessive workload, especially in relation to wellbeing, stress and, crucially, recruitment and retention? Chapter 2 asks what is happening to help address workload and wellbeing, and gives consideration to the plans for the remodelling of the school workforce with reference to, for example, the DfES's Transforming School Workforce Pathfinder Project, the National Remodelling Team (NRT), higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs), bureaucratic burdens, the Well-Being Programme and issues surrounding staff recruitment and retention.
The second section is entitled ‘How do you change it?’ and consists of three chapters, the first of which covers the crucial area of managing change. It asks why is change necessary and why managing it is so complex, particularly dealing with resistance and conflict. Models for changing workload and wellbeing are examined, including the approaches of the National Remodelling Team and the Well-Being Programme.
Chapter 4 is about auditing how teachers spend their worktime and it is here we introduce the ATL worktime audit. We explain how to complete it and outline briefly the main findings of our piloting of the audit, including how teachers were able to make more effective use of time and to bring about change in their working lives.
[Page xiii]The following chapter – Chapter 5 – continues this theme when it provides advice and guidance on taking care of staff. We look at work-life balance, time and stress management and, generally, how to make schools better places in which to work.
The third and final section provides ideas for the different groups working in schools – teachers, support staff and school leaders (heads, deputies, middle managers). Chapter 6 examines how teachers can save time by looking at the big time-consumers such as planning. It also considers marking, report writing, display and working with teaching assistants. The latter topic is given further consideration in the next chapter which discusses how support staff can be effectively deployed in schools. Paraprofessionals who teach and cover, including teaching assistants and HLTAs, are discussed along with staff in pastoral and administrative roles. Forms of organizational support provided by bursars and premises managers are also examined. The chapter concludes by considering a number of unresolved issues relating to support staff, such as whether an increase in support staff will mean fewer jobs for teachers, and whether we are just shifting stress and long working hours onto other people. Are we exploiting support staff and is teacher workload being reduced at their expense? We know, for example, that support staff earn significantly less than their professional colleagues.
In the final chapter consideration is given to school leaders who play a crucial role in staff wellbeing and workload – including their own! We focus on what is known about effective leadership and management in this area, and highlight some of the key skills which may need developing, such as meetings management, delegation and communication skills. School leaders and managers through their actions can help ensure the school as a workplace is relatively ‘stress free’ and that the workload and wellbeing of others is given the importance it deserves. However, there is also a need for their own wellbeing to be given high priority, something we argue that does not always happen as some heads and other school leaders take on more – not less – responsibility and workload! The wellbeing of school leaders, indeed all staff, is crucial to an effective school and it is hoped that this short book will be used to ensure that the school's most important resource is empowered and enabled to do its job well – which, of course, is to ensure the quality of education offered to its pupils is second to none![Page xiv]
Appendix: Websites[Page 125]
Association of Teachers and Lecturers: http://www.askatl.org.uk
General and Municipal Workers Union: http://www.gbm.org.uk
Hamilton Trust: http://www.hamilton-trust.org.uk
Health and Safety Executive: http://www.hse.gov.uk
Healthy Schools initiative: http://www.wiredforhealth.gov.uk
Higher level teaching assistants: http://www.hlta.gov.uk
Implementation Review Unit: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/iru
Learning and Skills Council: http://www.lsc.gov.uk
National Association of Head Teachers: http://www.naht.org.uk
National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers: http://www.teachersunion.org.uk
National College for School Leadership: http://www.ncsl.org.uk
National Employers' Organisation for Schoolteachers: http://www.lg-employers.gov.uk
National Remodelling Team: http://www.remodelling.org.uk
National Union of Teachers: http://www.teachers.org.uk
Professional Association of Teachers: http://www.pat.org.uk
Secondary Headteachers Association: http://www.sha.org.uk
Teacher Support Network: http://www.teachersupport.info
Teacher Training Agency: http://www.tta.gov.uk
Times Education Supplement: http://www.tes.co.uk
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