Education Secretary Damien Hinds promised to cut teachers’ workload in an attempt to resolve a recruitment crisis in England’s schools.
He told a head teachers’ conference in Birmingham that there will be no more new changes to primary tests, GCSEs or A-levels, and tried to address challenges from delegates over school funding shortages, saying: “It has been tough, funding is tight, I don’t deny that at all.”
He conceded: “I understand why that’s people’s number one issue. I understand why, for everyone in this room, the funding of our schools and colleges is such an important topic.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the education secretary’s promise to cut the “bureaucratic burden” on teachers.
Schools are spending £835m per year on supply agencies, according to the most recent government figures.
Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman told the conference that improvements in school will not be sustained “if the people, who make them run so well, are burning out and leaving the profession.” She warned against “entirely unnecessary” extra work such as rehearsals for inspections, so-called “mocksteds”.
Labour’s shadow schools minister, Mike Kane, said: “This government can’t offer a solution to the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention because they created it. “If the government were serious about ending the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention they would match Labour’s fully-funded commitment to scrap the public sector pay cap and give our teachers the pay rise they deserve.”