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Are SLT in your school good at keeping staff workload to reasonable levels?

(24 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 11-Nov-17 13:31:36

When Ofsted come in to inspect a school, parents are sent a questionnaire about the school, and so are staff. For the first time, Ofsted are now including a question on the staff questionnaire about how well SLT manage workload of the staff so that it's reasonable.
An HMI Inspector on Twitter posted that the only school that they had given an outstanding to last term had positive staff responses to this question.

First question: If you were answering honestly, would you say that SLT are good at keeping staff workload to reasonable levels? (E.g. Is it considered when implementing new initiatives, is there a ridiculous marking policy and so on).

Second question: If your answer is no, would you answer this honestly on an Ofsted questionnaire, knowing that if your school was tipped into special measures your workload would increase?

ProfessorCat Sat 11-Nov-17 13:39:24

No. Yes.

Balfe Sat 11-Nov-17 13:44:05

Yes, I would say they do their very best. The previous SLT demanded a huge amount of pointless paperwork but the current HT changed a lot of things.

Second question: If your answer is no, would you answer this honestly on an Ofsted questionnaire, knowing that if your school was tipped into special measures your workload would increase?
Anonymously, yes.

SweetSummerchild Sat 11-Nov-17 14:20:17

No and yes.

SLT seriously think they are doing a 'good job' reducing workload but the reality for the average teacher in the classroom is the exact opposite.

The increasing levels of staff turnover in recent years speaks for itself, however.

Changerofname987654321 Sat 11-Nov-17 16:33:44

No. Yes.

Changerofname987654321 Sat 11-Nov-17 16:35:33

noblegiraffe do you please have a link to the twitter comment?

Redlocks28 Sat 11-Nov-17 16:38:16

Yes to the first question. Certainly much more than previous Schools.

If my answer were no though-I don’t think I’d be telling Ofsted and risk going into RI though. It’s a Catch 22!

noblegiraffe Sat 11-Nov-17 16:49:32

change it's here

DumbledoresApprentice Sat 11-Nov-17 17:16:47

Yes. And I’d answer honestly if the answer was no.

leccybill Sat 11-Nov-17 17:26:51

1. No - workload is unmanageable and the attitude from SLT is 'if you don't like it, leave'. The appraisal process was awful, with many boxes to tick, evidence to provide, self evaluation tools to measure and a research project to boot. Unannounced drop-ins a plenty. Scrutinies every five minutes.
It is an academy.

2. Yes I absolutely would. Been through SM before and not scared of it. Workload couldn't be any greater.

MaisyPops Sat 11-Nov-17 17:30:07

Yes - I don't always think they get it right but I do think they care about workload. Some things they've changed are great and they've listened to staff by scrapping things that weren't working. Other times they try things with good intnetions and it doesn't work, but given they've trialled things for a year and tjen said 'it's not working so we are changing it' I feel happy they'll reflect and change.

If it was anonymous then yes. We had a questionaire at my last ofsted in a school that didn't treat staff well. I didn't answer it because I didn't trust they would remain sealed.

PurpleCrowbar Sat 11-Nov-17 17:35:18

No Ofsted here as overseas, but still:

A) actually Yes! They are very aware of it. It's a bit of a seller's market here, as bloody hard to replace people mid year - distinct shortage of good staff willing to emigrate at the drop of a hat, plus country I'm in gets a bad press in the UK. So retention is a big motivator. They know lots of the staff are already living out of a suitcase, here for the nicer than UK lifestyle (which includes better working conditions) & can, frankly, bugger off to another overseas post, badmouthing current school merrily as they go, at a few weeks' notice. People don't stay if they aren't happy.

B) Yes, I would. Wherever you are these days there's a teacher shortage. If Special Measures would be a deal breaker for me, ok, I'd go elsewhere, not stay in a school that should be in SM but wasn't because the staff were too cowed to raise their heads above the parapet. Been there & got the t-shirt, thanks. grin

colonelgoldfish Sat 11-Nov-17 17:42:09

We had ofsted this week (Primary).

I answered 'agree' to that question because I wanted the school to do well. I don't think the SLT do take steps to REDUCE workload though, it's just kind of that's the work that needs doing and thats that. I do think my SLT take steps to not INCREASE our workload or make it worse though.

Catch 22 question!

BlessYourCottonSocks Sat 11-Nov-17 22:47:23

No. And yes. I would answer this whether it was anonymous or not. I have been vocal in my belief that SLT are not doing enough to reduce teacher workload at our place. They make the right noises of interested concern - but the fact is that class sizes are going up and PPA is slashed to the minimum. New GCSE specs following closely on new A levels have meant more work. Progress 8 has piled the pressure on. I am not lying to Ofsted or anyone else to massage SLT egos.

noblegiraffe Sun 12-Nov-17 12:29:50

It's good that people think they would be honest - when this was posted on twitter the response seemed to be that teachers would lie to show their school in the best possible light to get the best possible grade.

I think it's a strange mentality, that you are expected to work your arse off for observations, put your best face on and do all you can to impress Ofsted and then behind the school's back say 'actually, it's a bit crap'.

NannyOggsKnickers Sun 12-Nov-17 13:19:18

NO NO NO to the first question.

A resounding yes to the second.

But I think my head would be shocked. He thinks he’s doing us all a favour letting us have jobs.

EvilTwins Sun 12-Nov-17 18:38:12

No and yes. Disclaimer - I'm not there the whole time any more. I left last year and set up independently but still go in twice a week to teach KS4 because they didn't replace me and there was a certain amount of emotional blackmail going on.

We are in SM, and at the end of last year, when I was still full time, I did go to the HMI in person and spoke about this. Problem is that we have had no proper HT for 4 years and every new executive/temporary/babysitting head comes in and acts as if nothing was there previously and so puts in whatever policy is his/her favourite. Staff don't know where they are and neither do students.

Pretending that workload is fine if it's not does no one any favours. Painting a rosy picture to OFSTED so that the school doesn't get a lower grading is pointless - nothing will change if people pretend everything is fine, whilst drawing in work.

Doomhutch Sun 12-Nov-17 18:48:57

Yes. We have a sensible, minimal, marking policy which means less wasted time. Staff meetings are once a week, always the same day, always planned in advance. It's not perfect - our appraisal system assesses us on things we are not supposed to be assessed against (like % pupils to hit a target) but it's not too onerous.

I would be happy answering that question honestly wherever I was!

dibbleanddobble Sun 12-Nov-17 22:45:00

No they don't. Our SLT are lovely people individually but not very self aware and don't reflect on how their decisions affect people's workloads (best example was changing the school wide theme at 2.30pm on the day before the kids were due back in September which meant that all work/planning done over the summer holidays had to be scrapped and we all pulled all nighters to get planning and resources in place for the next day)

Yes I'd be honest, the answer to one question won't result in special measures unless you're headed there anyway!!

theduchessstill Sun 12-Nov-17 22:46:28

No and yes.

We had OFSTED last year and a bit of me actually hoped we would get RI so things would be shaken up. I actually wouldn't mind extra work if there was a point to it and things would perhaps ultimately be better.

MaisyPops Mon 13-Nov-17 06:36:05

when this was posted on twitter the response seemed to be that teachers would lie to show their school in the best possible light to get the best possible grade.
But that's going to be self selecting usn't it?

I'm anonymous on Twitter but still probably wouldn't answer publically on Twitter if I thought my SLT were rubbish. Few people would admit on an open, identifyable account that they'd essentially bad mouth their school during ofsted (even if what they ade saying is true).

noblegiraffe Mon 13-Nov-17 07:41:07

I'd have thought that identifiable accounts wouldn't have been suggesting that there was anything wrong with SLT that they'd need to lie about!

People weren't answering personally, when the new Ofsted question came up there was a bunch of 'well people are going to lie, aren't they?' responses.

Wait4nothing Mon 13-Nov-17 07:46:43

My school do a pretty good job at managing workload - minimal marking, on paper minimal planning (though in re

Wait4nothing Mon 13-Nov-17 07:48:31

Reality a bit more). The DH/HT think they work harder than everyone else but we have some AH who are classroom based who bring more reality to the situation. It’s still full on but better than most I’d say.
I’d answer honestly. And would have before the improvements too.

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