State of Education survey report 2016 - Page 6

The teacher workload challenge The education landscape has changed considerably in recent years, but managing teacher workload remains a challenge for most school leaders (84%). In both primary and secondary settings (83% and 88% respectively), this proved difficult for more school leaders over the past year than any other area of responsibility we asked them to choose from – echoing the findings of our survey last year¹. Impact of assessment and accountability reforms More than a year on from the removal of National Curriculum levels, school leaders say that managing internal assessment in their school has been challenging. Almost eight in 10 (77%) found this difficult over the past year, including a slightly higher proportion of primary school leaders (79%) than secondary (72%). With the implementation of new accountability systems drawing closer, preparing for the new performance measures proved difficult for two-thirds (66%) of school leaders over the past year – up from just under half (47%) when we asked the same question a year ago. Six in 10 (61%) of those in secondary schools found preparing for the new performance measures difficult, and nearly seven in 10 (68%) of their primary school counterparts. How are schools faring with reforms to SEND provision? September 2014 saw a landmark reform in expectations of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Our findings suggest that genuine change takes time to implement and school leaders are continuing to grapple with the new system. Eighteen months in, over half (61%) of school leaders say they have found it tricky to provide for these pupils. It seems that the younger 6 State of Education Survey 2016 | pupils are, the more difficult the system is for schools to navigate: nearly two-thirds (65%) of leaders in primary schools found providing for pupils with SEND difficult, compared to just under half (50%) of those in secondary schools. There are many challenges facing education budgets are being cut in real terms. However, teacher workload & work/life balance need addressing too.” School leader Spotlight on teacher recruitment and retention With school leaders struggling to manage teacher workload and significant changes to the education system, it is no surprise to learn that six in 10 (62%) are finding it challenging to recruit and retain teachers. It was a particular challenge for secondary school leaders, with three-quarters (76%) saying they found it difficult to manage in their schools, compared to just under six in 10 leaders in primary settings (59%). Quality of education On the whole, school leaders appear to be confident in the quality of leadership and teaching in their schools – reported to be the biggest challenges ahead for only two per cent and seven per cent respectively. It’s also worth noting that despite the public attention that the Prevent duty has attracted, this was one responsibility on our list that was easy to manage for more school leaders (42%) over the past year, than difficult to manage (14%). Less than one per cent of school leaders anticipate that it will be their biggest challenge next year. ¹ The Key's State of Education report 2015: Find further comment at