Heatherlands Primary School

Enjoying Learning Together

Managing Workload

At Heatherlands, we believe our staff are our greatest resource in ensuring learning is inspirational for our pupils. Staff who feel truly valued, are well supported and have a sensible work/life balance will not only impact learners but have enjoyable careers and be hugely successful themselves.



The current debate around teacher workload continues. We at Heatherlands are very much aware of the damage excessive workload can have on our staff and students. As a learning community, we constantly look at how we make the demands of the profession manageable and improve how we work, ensuring good mental health and well-being for all. We all share in the responsibility to help each other manage our workload, not only for our own social, emotional and mental health, but also for others.


For staff we have enabled flexibility over attendance at some of our key events. The calendar also shows when we have development time for staff to concentrate on our key foci. Meetings generally occur at end of the school day, but these are started as early as possible in order to avoid too late a finish for staff. Where possible, other meetings are scheduled to take place during the school day to limit the number of meetings taking place after a busy day.


Other things we do to support reducing teacher workload are:


  • We have specialist staff where ever possible, so that staff don’t have to spend additional time on reading around an area they are not confident with.
  • We avoid  using supply teachers wherever possible. If staff are absent for any reason,  their class is covered by someone who knows the children and knows the routines and expectations. This means staff don’t need to leave long instructions for staff, saving them time.
  • We’ve changed our approach to marking. We focus on providing 'feedback' as opposed to marking work. This helps make it clear that only specific pieces of work will be teacher marked, saving time but more importantly, focusses on learning.
  • We regularly use whole class feedback in the form of a 'feedforward sheet'. Not only is this a really effective assessment process it means that there is a reduction in marking books.
  • We use a range of retrieval practices for homework. This is a really effective technique, reducing marking for teachers and resource production.
  • We’ve worked hard to reduce the amount of effort needed on display boards. We run “inclusive classrooms” which mean everything on the wall is to scaffold and support learning. This by default means that boards do not need to be changed throughout the year. We also have a specialist HLTA who manages displays around the school and ensures these are updated as regularly as required. 


All staff and visiting tutors benefit from dedicated areas in which to prepare for lessons and assessment. Staff can work in the 'Cromwell room', which is available before, throughout, and after the school day. There are several areas throughout our school where staff can comfortably carry out PPA activities. We offer over the statutory amount of PPA time, knowing that this enables staff to complete tasks on site. Some classrooms are opened at lunchtime for students to work or relax in, whilst sports activities, choir etc also take place at this time. Our staffroom - 'The Heather Lounge' is a place to relax and reflect with colleagues. Friday briefings give staff a great opportunity to socialise and share experiences in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.


The views and opinions of our staff and students provides one of our most important tools for reducing workload. We know we will always be hampered by the need to meet a range of external requirements and balancing budgets. But, our staff and students are able to provide ideas and act as critical friends in ways that make a real difference. To gather opinions we deploy a variety of strategies including focus group discussions and regular surveys – particularly around well being.


At Heatherlands we believe managing our workload is everyone’s responsibility. However, there are always key individuals who are there to help. Our Mental Health Lead (Mrs K Lloyd-Christie) and our Curriculum Director (Miss B Collis) have a specific role to support staff in managing their workload and to help staff identify better ways of working, through a coaching approach.


In each school in the Coastal Learning Partnership (CLP) there are specific strategies, activities and people in place to support work/life balance, well being and professional development.


However, ALL CLP schools provide:

  • Opportunities across the MAT to enhance skills and experience at infant, junior and primary level
  • Excellent career development opportunities
  • Exceptional CPD provision including national experts in their field.
  • An extensive support programme for Newly Qualified Teachers
  • An ICT rich environment which allows staff to be innovative in harnessing technology for learning.