Staff Workload & Well-being

Things We Do

Teaching and learning, planning and curriculum  

  • We trust teachers to decide the best approaches for their pupils.
  • No pressure to 'put on a show' in lessons: a culture of typicality is reinforced by no lesson gradings (outstanding, good, R/A/G, etc.)
  • Teaching and learning policy is co-designed with subject specialists because they know what works best for different subjects.
  • Differentiation does not mean doing lots of different things. It just means everyone working towards the same learning goal with some additional support where required. We do not do All/Most/Some or bolt anything on!
  • A simple, shared language of teaching and learning means we can more effectively develop ourselves and each other.
  • No need to write lesson plans of any kind.
  • Although schemes of work and resources are provided, teachers adapt them however they like.
  • Meeting time is devoted to talking curriculum, including sequencing.
  • 22/25 periods of teaching per week maximum.
  • A central media team can make lesson resources, videos, etc.
  • No one covers more than one lesson a half term.
  • A culture where pupils have positive attitudes to learning.


  • Everyone has the highest expectations of behaviour, with all staff (not just teaching staff) reinforcing those expectations.  
  • A clear system of sanctions which is applied consistently so staff don't have battles with pupils. 
  • Senior Leadership are very visible and all staff 'own' their corridors. 
  • Senior Leadership run lunch duty so behaviour doesn't bubble up.  
  • A rota system ensures pupils always see a familiar face with Barr Beacon expectations - no external cover is required so behaviour won't bubble up in the lesson before yours. 

Assessment and reporting to parents

  • 'Give feedback however you think best' policy, with the aim of spending no more than an hour on any class set of books/essays. 
  • Marking is for one audience and one audience only: pupils. Never tick and flick or do anything else for observers/parents/carers. 
  • We never ask for any data to be entered twice. 
  • No detailed written reports to parents/carers.
  • Minimal data entries – never enter anything that is not going to be used.
  • No teachers make phone calls to parents/carers – or take them from parents/carers. A superb House system and admin team ensure teachers can get on with teaching.  
  • Teachers don't have their time taken away by direct emails from parents. 

Professional Development 

  • CPD is tailored specifically to staff needs, based on their feedback.  
  • We have a strong knowledge of what makes for successful implementation and make time for staff to put new things into action. 
  • We will fully fund anyone who wants to acquire full Chartered Teacher status.
  • We will support you in completing NPQs (we are the lead on these for the local Hub).
  • CPD is delivered as twilights that never finish after 4.15pm, with days off in lieu. 
  • Non-hierarchical approach to professional development - there are things a senior leader can learn from an NQT and vice versa. 
  • In-house experts on all aspects of educational practice, including many Specialist Leaders of Education. 
  • Targeted support plans for teachers who are struggling. 
  • Few meetings, with those that do take place doing so when they are needed - not just because they are on the calendar. 
  • Subject briefings are kept succinct. 
  • We develop leadership positions at all levels, with middle leaders shadowing senior leaders, postholders shadowing their middle leaders and so on. 
  • Comprehensive support for ECTs, with dedicated mentors, time for instructional coaching, regular meetings and study visits abroad.  
  • Bespoke development package for second and third year teachers.  
  • Performance Management is tailored to individual development needs in a culture of ‘everyone getting better’. We begin from the assumption that everybody will get the pay rise unless they haven't done all they can to improve pupil outcomes. 
  • The possibility of a ‘double jump’ in salary from the third year into the fourth year of your career. 

We work hard, play hard

  • Work hard, play hard 
  • There are no prizes for looking busy or staying late - work in a way that suits you and make sure you make time for yourself and your family. 
  • No expectation of answering email outside school hours. 
  • We are constantly streamlining all systems and processes so they take less time. 
  • No tick box culture – never do anything if it's not going to make a difference. 
  • We regularly survey staff to get their honest opinions about how to improve. 
  • A culture of peer-to-peer praise (thank you cards, letters). 
  • Open-door Senior Leadership – no concern is ever too small. 
  • Regular staff social events out-of-school. 
  • In-school health events, including free flu jabs, health checks. 
  • Seasonal events for everyone to show their less serious sides (for example, World Book Day, Christmas jumpers, staff pantomime, themed non-uniform days, etc). 
  • Countless opportunities to get involved with the wider life of the school – Duke of Edinburgh, Cadets, Turing Scheme, study visits abroad.  
  • If something new is introduced, something old must be taken away.  
An earlier version of this appears in the Department for Education’s Workload Reduction Toolkit.