DFE Update – Teacher workload: Data management

Teacher workload: new measures announced

During the NASUWT conference, the Education Secretary spoke of new measures regarding teacher workload.

The workload challenge survey generated 44,000 returns by teachers.

Three reports have been written under the areas of:

  • Marking
  • Planning and resources
  • Data management

The ‘reports make recommendations for schools, school leaders and Ofsted, as well as to the government’.

What follows here are some key points from the report on data management:

Data management: Eliminating unnecessary workload associated with data management

The summary of this report by the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group, describes how data often ‘becomes an end in itself, divorced from the core purpose of improving outcomes for pupils’.

They call on ‘all parties in the education system to reduce the unnecessary burdens of data management by ensuring that every data collection has a clear purpose, and that the process is as efficient as possible.’

They set out four overarching principles to apply to data management in schools:

  1. Be streamlined
  2. Be ruthless
  3. Be prepared to stop activity
  4. Be aware of workload issues

There is a section in the report which looks at the causes of data management having become, in many instances, an over burdensome aspect of school and classroom life for teachers.

Ofsted’s expectations are spelt out in a box within the text including: ‘Ofsted does not expect performance and pupil-tracking data to be presented in a particular format.’

Three questions are posed for ‘any person or organisation involved in the production and use of data’ to answer at the start:

  1. Am I clear on the purpose?
  2. Is this the most efficient process?
  3. Is the data valid?

A table follows this with further questions to consider in order to best answer the three key questions.

The report offers guidance on the following areas: formative assessment; collection cycles; standardised tests; whole school data; management information systems and data required by the DfE.

The report concludes with a table of recommendations for various stakeholders.

Read the full report here.



  1. Deb Thonus said:

    Thoughtful questions need to be asked about data collection, management, and use. It is a time-consuming endeavor and needs to result in improved education for students. This isn’t just an issue in the UK but the USA , too.

  2. Anna Vaughan said:

    I agree Deb, thanks for sharing your points. I imagine it is an issue for any education system. I’ve also written a post this week on cloud storage and data…another important area!

  3. Pingback: Effective Planning – some refreshing advice | Discovery Education

  4. Joshua said:

    New apps for data management appear almost every day but only few of them became essential part of teachers’ professional lives just like some website similar to http://proessays.org/ of students’ lives.

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