Tackling bureaucracy and addressing undue workload in schools
Review of local authorities' actions
In June 2016, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills asked Education Scotland to undertake a focused review of the demands placed on schools by local authorities in relation to Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), particularly around their arrangements for curriculum, planning, assessment and reporting in schools. This review was planned as one strand within a wider set of actions announced in the Government’s ‘Delivery Plan’ designed to eliminate unnecessary workload demands associated with the implementation of CfE.
The review took place in August 2016. Teams of HM Inspectors visited local authorities and met:
- Directors of Education and local authority officers
- representatives of teachers’ professional associations and Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers (LNCT)
- primary and secondary headteachers and primary and secondary teachers.
Inspectors looked at arrangements, expectations and associated workload requirements for Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) placed on schools by the local authority, as well as any guidance and support provided by the authority to help minimise bureaucracy and workload. This report sets out the findings of the review.
The report outlines progress by local authorities in taking action to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and undue workload in schools. The report includes recommendations for local authorities to make further progress.
The Depute First Minister subsequently wrote to Directors of Education (October 2016) underlining his commitment to freeing teachers from unnecessary work which prevents them from focusing on activity which supports learners’ progress.
- Tackling Bureaucracy Toolkit - This is a toolkit which can be used by managers at any level in local authorities or by staff in schools to consider how to streamline practice around curriculum planning, assessment and reporting.
- Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education - A Delivery Plan for Scotland - The Delivery Plan outlines the steps the Scottish Government will take to achieve key improvements in education.