DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH!

On July 15th 2014 Nicky Morgan assumed the office of Secretary of State for Education taking over from Michael Grove who had been in post since May 2010. Nicky Morgan’s appointment was cautiously welcomed by the teachers as it was becoming clear to the profession that many Michael Gove’s “reforms” were simply not working.

On September 30th 2014 Mrs Morgan gave a well received speech to the Conservative party conference indicating a much more positive approach to the nation’s teachers indicating that she wanted to tackle issues of workload and the nature of the workload experienced by the profession.

On October 22nd 2014 Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, helped launched a workload challenge for teachers. Mr Clegg said wanted to relieve teachers from “burdensome workloads” and that they should be freed to from unnecessary bureaucracy so they can spend more time teaching.

Teachers were invited to submit their ideas on reducing workload and that the best ideas put forward would be action early in 2015. There was a significant response from the profession with 20,000+ teachers took the opportunity to make suggestions as requested.

It is now late January 2015 and the results of the survey have not been published. However there are rumours that there is confidential briefing paper is being circulated within the Department for Education. The document, apparently, indicates that teachers blame the burdensome workload on government policies in general but specifically:

(a) Insufficient lead-in time for new policies;

(b) High stake demands of accountability systems;

(c) Pace and scale of change;

(d) Rapid introduction of new GCSE and A level courses;

(e) Changes to National Curriculum;

(f) Changes to the Ofsted inspection regime.

Teachers have also called for the delay in the introduction of complex reforms and that there should be effective testing of new policies on a small scale before introducing them nationally.

So where is this report on workload with the promises of changes “early in the new year”?

Latest indications are that the report on workload will not now be published until after the May election.