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Teachers: Conditions of Employment

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL15084, tabled on 19 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of current teacher workload on future retention rates.

Answered on

28 April 2021

The government recognises the pressure that teachers and leaders in schools and colleges are under and is enormously grateful to them for their continued efforts, resilience, and service throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

The department is committed to ensuring that we continue to attract, retain and develop the high-quality teachers we need to teach the next generation. We are continuing the delivery of the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, published in January 2019. This includes commitments to reduce teacher workload, improve continuing professional development, and promote greater opportunities for flexible working.

The department recognises that workload is consistently cited as one of the main reasons given by teachers for leaving the profession. We have taken action to address teacher workload, working with the profession, to tackle longstanding issues as well as the current challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have published a range of resources to help reduce unnecessary workload. For example, the successful school workload reduction toolkit, which helps leaders identify and tackle the drivers of unnecessary workload. The toolkit is available here:

We have seen encouraging examples of schools identifying and addressing workload challenges by using the toolkit, as shown in the report of a project run by the department and the Education Development Trust, available here:

The department is continuing to work with teaching unions, teachers, and Ofsted to challenge and remove unhelpful practices that create unnecessary workload, to support the school recovery period.