Government looks to reduce NQT and trainee workload


Newly qualified teachers and trainees should use existing resources to aid their development, rather than creating new resources for lessons, according to new guidance from the Department for Education.

The advice is part of efforts to reduce the workload for trainee teachers, NQTs and those in the early years of their careers, in order to boost teacher retention.

By targeting initial teacher education (ITE) providers, the report provides information that is designed to give them a ‘starting point’ relating to how practices can be reviewed. 

The Addressing teacher workload in Initial Teacher Education report tells providers to “challenge all practices and processes and remove those that have become established through custom rather than evidence that works”.

It goes on to say that the move is “particularly relevant” for lesson planning, as ITE providers should instead work on developing curriculum planning skills.

The report suggests that it can be done by “reducing the expectation of trainees to develop their own individual lesson plans and curriculum resources for every lesson they teach”.

Using existing resources to enhance lesson plans

NQTs and trainees should instead look into quality resources that already exist and should look to use or adapt them to meet their needs.

The advice calls on ITE providers to focus on why lessons are planned and scheduled together in the way they are, and says teaching staff should only look to create their own plans when they have a “good knowledge of existing resources and sequencing of lessons”.

Education secretary Damian Hinds, alongside staff from education unions and Ofsted, is working on ways to reduce teacher workloads.

The report also tells ITE providers that sessions relating to managing workload should be included as part of the transition from a trainee to NQT.

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