John Swinney in teacher workload pledge

Written by Andrew Whitaker on 26 May 2016 in News

John Swinney sets out plans to reduce teacher workload as part of moves to improve overall performance of schools  

John Swinney has promised to reduce the workload on teachers as his first step as education secretary to deliver what he said would be improvements to the performance of Scotland’s schools. 

Swinney, in his first parliamentary speech in his new post, said that improving attainment across Scotland would be the “driving purpose of his tenure”. 

Setting out early actions to ease the burden on the teaching profession, Swinney said the first report on the work of the Assessment and National Qualifications Working Group would be published today, and that he would ensure the actions within it to reduce teacher workload would be delivered.

Swinney’s pledge came after he carried out a series of face-to-face meetings with teachers about the pressures they face, following the Deputy First Minister’s appointment to the education brief last week. 


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Meanwhile, Swinney announced that he had asked Bill Maxwell, the Chief Inspector of Education in Scotland, to write to schools with clear guidance on national expectations on qualifications and assessment, that he said would reduce any unnecessary workloads on teachers.

Swinney said: “Closing the attainment gap and improving attainment across education in Scotland - in other words the pursuit of equity and excellence - will be the driving purpose of my tenure as Education Secretary.

“One of the significant concerns I have heard is about teacher workload as a consequence of change within the education system. I am going to act today to reduce that workload as my first step to improving the performance of Scotland’s schools.

“I hope there will be a recognition that within my first week in office I have acted decisively to address issues in front of me to reduce teacher workload and strengthen Scottish education.”

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