Staff were asked to forward any comments that they would like considering, or any ideas on how staff workload could be reduced. Three main issues were raised: marking, assessment and behaviour, and some immediate changes were introduced at the start of the year. The two staff briefings a week, which used to happen at 8.30am before the start of the school day, have been reduced to one. Some staff felt that the second briefing was not relevant to them as it focused on a specific group, say those teaching key stage 3. Now information is emailed.
Data collection has also been addressed and monitoring collections have been reduced from six times a year to four. Staff who have a full teaching day no longer have to do break and / or bus duty to ensure they have a break in the day. Parents evenings are to be spread throughout the year rather than the majority being held in the autumn term.
Many of the changes have been relatively small, but together they add up. As important as the changes themselves, is the fact that SLT has shown they are extremely supportive of staff and the consultation was not just a tick-box exercise. They have listened and are making changes.
ATL’s tracker is useful too. It’s really easy to use and it gives you an update so you can see what staff in other schools are spending their time on. As a rep, I find it gives me an idea about what the workload issues are beyond my own school.
Patricia Graham is a learning progress manager and ATL rep at Aston Academy in Rotherham.