The EIS has welcomed the publication of the Report of the CfE Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy in schools. The establishment of the Working Group was announced at the EIS AGM in June by Cabinet Secretary Mike Russell, in direct response to the launch of the EIS Campaign to Cut Workload.
The publication of the Report is an important step in the on-going campaign to cut teachers’ workload burden and free up time for teaching by reducing unnecessary paperwork and form-filling.
At the EIS AGM the Cabinet Secretary said in his speech to delegates that it was "unacceptable that any school, head teacher or local authority should be able to surround the clarity of CfE with a smokescreen of bureaucracy and unnecessary paperwork. That needs to stop and it needs to stop now.”
The EIS agrees with that statement. The action plan now published should trigger a review of practice at local authority and school level to ensure that bureaucracy which has grown up around CfE implementation is stripped out, that excessive workload is reduced and that more time for teaching is released.
Commenting on the report EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: "The EIS welcomes this report. Pointless paperwork and dubious auditing around CfE implementation has created excessive and unacceptable workload burdens for teachers and stolen time from teaching and learning. The EIS will be using this report, as part of our workload campaign, to advise members on taking the necessary action to tackle bureaucracy in our schools.”
The EIS Workload Campaign – "Make Time for Teaching” – was established with the aim of delivering a meaningful and lasting reduction in the workload burden of teachers. Teachers across the country are being placed under a considerable amount of stress due to their growing workloads.
The ongoing implementation of CfE, the introduction of new qualifications this year (Nationals) and next year (New Highers), rising class sizes and a growing administrative burden have all combined to increase teacher workload and reduce the time available for core learning and teaching activity.
The EIS campaign is calling for action to reduce unnecessary and unhelpful workload, freeing up more time for teachers to teach the pupils in their classes.
Larry Flanagan added, "The publication of this Report today is an important step, but it is the beginning not the end of the campaign to reduce teachers’ workload burdens. The EIS played an active role in the Working Group and we welcome the recommendations that the Report makes."
"However, these recommendations must now be put into action, and it is for the individuals and organisations that can affect teacher workload – such as school management, local authority education directorates, school inspectors, Education Scotland and the SQA - to take cognisance of the report and then take definitive action to cut back on the burden they place on teachers.”
"The EIS will continue to campaign on reducing teacher workload, as it is in the best interests of Scotland’s teachers and pupils for unnecessary workload to be removed to allow more attention for pupils and an enhanced learning and teaching environment in our schools.”