The NUT fully recognises the pressures on schools leaders. Accountability pressures and the additional workload generated as a result is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges to be faced. Against this background the NUT recommends that school leaders urgently consider, in consultation with teachers, what changes can be brought in to help alleviate pressures both on themselves and on those whom they lead, with the aim of recruiting and retaining quality staff, reducing sick leave and improving educational outcomes for children.
A first step is to consult staff on a work-life balance policy. All teachers, including senior leaders are entitled to enjoy a reasonable work/life balance, which supports their effectiveness and students’ learning. The NUT’s model policy covers issues such as directed time, organisation of meetings and flexible working practices. Read it here.
Step by step concrete advice is available here.
Undertaking a stress risk assessment is the first step towards tackling stress and seeking to protect staff from work-related mental health conditions. Doing so will help meet the employer’s duty to ensure employees’ health, safety and welfare at work. Just follow the simple steps in the NUT guidance.
The DfE’s Independent Teacher Workload Review Group Reports make strong recommendations to the Government, Ofsted, school leaders and governing bodies on these three areas. You can find the reports, DfE and NUT guidance and resources on their use here.
The Ofsted guidance for English schools, published following NUT pressure and now part of the Ofsted school inspection handbook, and known as Ofsted Myths, clarifies what Ofsted does not expect from schools during or before inspections. It dispels some of the myths that lead to excessive workload, for example by making clear that Ofsted does not expect to see deep or extended marking or written records of oral feedback. Use it to reach agreement about what teachers do and do not need to do at school. Make sure your colleagues and managers are aware of its contents.