Simon Rigby is an ATL rep at Fred Longworth High School in Greater Manchester.
I became a rep in September and I wanted to get everyone together to be on the front foot fighting the workload issue. We had a visit from the regional team, who come along to give a national perspective on workload, which is on newspaper front pages and all over Twitter.
Mary Bousted’s blogging about it, which gives it a lot more focus, and she needs commending for this approach. It has brought the issue to the forefront to the point where the government has no option but to answer those concerns because it’s glaringly obvious that members up and down the country are facing this battle on a daily basis.
I wanted members in our school to realise they’re not on their own. Take marking. There’s no point in marking for the sake of it. It should have an impact on learning, that’s paramount, but you don’t have to mark every section of every bit of work to have an impact. You can cast your eye over.
The SLT needed to hear that it is a major problem at the school. I have asked for the marking policy to be looked at and updated, and the SLT has realised there’s a problem.
Having the It’s about time... campaign to base this around has helped. If we hadn’t had the campaign, staff would have gone back to their respective faculties and felt it was just them.
The campaign has created that dialogue, which is one small step. The SLT has got to see there’s a better way to mark and it doesn’t have to be so time-consuming.
We are hoping to have a new marking policy soon. Hopefully we’ll get a resolution.