Textbooks 'central' to reducing teacher workloads

Textbooks 'central' to reducing teacher workloads

Textbooks are central to minimising the strain put on teachers, a government report has found.

The department of education has released a document entitled 'Independent Teacher Workload Review Group: Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources', which has been welcomed by the Publishers Association (PA).

In it, the working group found that high quality resources such textbooks were important in reducing teachers’ workloads and helping them to restore their “work-life balances”.

Colin Hughes, chair of the PA’s Education Publishers Council, said: “This important report puts a spotlight on those things which are contributing unnecessarily to teachers’ workload and highlights ways in which this could be minimised.  We are delighted that high quality resources, including textbooks, are seen as central to reducing workload, ensuring teachers do not have to reinvent the wheel and spend unnecessary time trawling the internet for suitable materials.”  

Hughes added that the value teachers place in curated resources in improving standards was identified as part of the association’s recent research.

“Addressing negative cultural attitudes which have been holding back their usage in schools, as acknowledged in the report, will go a long way to ensuring teachers have the confidence to request and use the resources they believe will have the greatest impact,” Huges said.

In the report, chair of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group, head teacher of Shaw Primary School Dawn Topping, said that marking had become a “burden that simply must be addressed, not only for those currently in the profession but for those about to enter it”.

“Our job was to discover how we ended up here and how we could make the long overdue change needed to help restore the work-life balance, passion and energy of teachers in this country,” she said.

Recent research from the PA found that budget cuts meant "tough" financial choices facing headteachers in England, who faced "significant funding shortalls" over the next three years. The report found that these financial pressures will have a "significant" impact on the ability of schools to purchase classroom materials, with primary headteachers expecting this to affect their expenditure on library materials (30%) and digital content (27%) and secondary headteachers concerned about expenditure on printed materials (30%) and teacher resources (32%).