Why is Ofsted blaming school leaders for workload?

The problem was that it was hard to unpick exactly what the issue was, because the question was rather vague. Asked whether children received “appropriate homework for their age”, parents who wanted more homework were lumped in with those who wanted less.

I’ll be clear: there is a workload issue in the profession, and I have said before that I think school leaders bear at least as much responsibility for it as Ofsted or the Department for Education. But that doesn’t mean that we can lay the blame entirely at their door. Yet that’s the risk with the new question in the staff survey.

Teachers are asked to state how far they agree with the statement, “Leaders and managers take workload into account when developing and implementing policies and procedures, so as to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on staff.” But, often, it’s not the new policies and procedures that create the workload: it’s the combination of all the old ones.

In primary schools particularly, the shift from the old framework to the new is a complete transformation of expectations about how schools work. I happen to think it’s for the better, but there’s no denying that schools are being asked to think in a completely different way about curriculum. And that creates a workload all of its own.