What is the Teacher Workload Survey?
The Teacher Workload Survey is an important survey that forms a key part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) commitment to improving the evidence base on what drives excessive teacher workload and what works to reduce it. The survey helps serve as a national ‘barometer’ for teachers’ working conditions and will influence government policy, so it’s important that as many teachers as possible complete it.
The 2016 Teacher Workload Survey was introduced as part of a government commitment to undertake a regular large scale and robust survey of teacher workload in English schools. It measured the weekly working hours of classroom teachers, middle and senior leaders, together with their views on their workload. The 2019 wave of the survey, delivered by NFER, will explore whether there have been any changes in teachers’ self-reported working hours and in their views on their workload. To help ensure the results of the survey will provide a national picture of teachers’ working conditions, it is desirable that as many invited schools take part as possible. The results will be used to feed into government policy.
Which schools have been invited to take part?
A randomly selected representative sample of primary, secondary and special schools across England has been invited to take part. Each school has been selected to ensure that the overall sample captures the views and experiences of staff working in schools with a range of different characteristics that reflect those of schools nationally. Participation in this survey is voluntary.
What are the benefits of taking part?
This is an opportunity for teachers to provide the DfE with an insight into their working lives with the results feeding in to government policy to reduce teachers’ unnecessary workload.
All schools with a sufficient number of survey completions will receive a tailored report comparing the averaged survey responses of their teachers to teachers in the rest of England. The report will allow schools to benchmark their results to other schools with similar characteristics. In doing so, the report will provide valuable evidence that schools can use to support discussions with staff about school policies and approaches, and to review working practice. This tailored report will be confidential to the school.
Where the number of responses from a school is too small to support sufficient anonymisation of the survey findings (responses from six teachers for primary and 20 for secondary), participating schools will still be provided with a summary report but it will be based on the findings from all schools in the same phase, and will not be specific to their establishment.
Are the teacher unions supporting the study?
An Advisory Group comprising representatives of the following unions are supporting the study:
- Association of School Leaders (ASCL)
- National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
- National Education Union (NEU)
- The National Association of Schoolmasters and union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
How will the findings of the study be reported?
NFER will produce a final report for the DfE in autumn 2019. The report will subsequently be made available on the DfE website. The individual school reports will be sent to participating schools at the same time.
How will data be protected?
All survey responses will be treated confidentially. This means that the identities of individual teachers, as well as the identity of schools, will not be revealed in any reports we produce for the DfE from this research or in any published data.
Personal details and individual responses will only be shared with the DfE where permission has been given by individual respondents in the survey. The survey can still be completed (and valuable data collected) without these permissions being given. NFER has robust procedures in place to ensure that we comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The privacy notice for the project sets out how we comply with the data protection principles and how school staff can exercise their rights.
Further information on our ethical code of practice
NFER will conduct the project in line with our Code of Practice, which is closely aligned to Social Research Association (SRA) and Market Research Society (MRS) guidelines.
What do schools need to do to take part?
Schools that are invited to take part will need to complete an online reply form by logging on to the NFER’s secure school portal at www.nfer.ac.uk/portal using the details provided in their invitation pack. To ensure everything runs smoothly, participating schools will be asked to provide a named contact for NFER to liaise with. On 11 March 2019 a link to the survey will be sent to the named contact, asking them to distribute it to all the teachers in their school. The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete. The survey will close on 29 March 2019.
For further information about this study
Please contact Kathryn Hurd or Keren Beddow
Telephone: 01753 637338