What workload issues are driving teachers crazy and how can we fix it?
When the Department for Education started to publish their workload findings, I started to take this issue seriously as a school leader. In the report findings and on the summary graphic below, you will notice that meetings featured in 26% of 44,000 respondents.
How many hours do you spend in meetings?
As a deputy head teacher, I was spending 15 hours per week in meetings, whether line management and collective team meetings, being a participant or the person leading from the front. Not every meeting was a good use of everyone’s time.
How can we adopt smarter ways of working?
In my teacher training sessions, as part of my introduction to Mark Plan Teach, I offer some simple solutions explaining how all leaders in schools can tackle the meeting culture in our schools; to reduce workload and make them more meaningful. The tips that I recommend are:
- stand-up meetings will go quicker, particularly those difficult conversations.
- turn them into professional development sessions
- walk-about meetings are good for your mental health
- change the venue or rotate the chair
- bring people together for 30 minutes, with 30 minutes remaining to go and do ‘your thing’.
I found this very interesting video by Professor Todd Dewett on Linkedin, author and speaker. He offers some very useful tips.
Think about it for a moment. Imagine if one timetabled period for a teacher is worth approximately £2k per year, per teacher for an academic year (of a teacher’s salary). How much impact versus actual value do your staff meetings have? It’s only then you should consider if your meeting is a good use of everyone’s time …
Other tips …
For other tips on managing meetings, try: