The National Agreement
On 15th January 2003 Government, employers and school workforce unions signed the National Workload Agreement with the aim of raising standards in schools by tackling workload issues and freeing teachers to focus on teaching and learning. This followed concerns about teachers' workloads highlighted by the Pricewaterhouse-Coopers study and consultations on the Government's proposals in the autumn of 2002 entitled Time for Standards. The Agreement contains a number of contractual changes to the School Teacher Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) that are to be phased in between September 2003 and September 2005.
A national Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group (WAMG) was established, leading to the publication of a package of consultative documents covering contractual changes for teachers, the role of support staff in teaching and learning, and draft standards for higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs). WAMG is working at a national level to oversee delivery of a seven-point plan:
Progressive reductions in teachers' overall hours
Changes to teachers' contracts
A concerted attack on unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy
Reform of support staff roles to help teachers and support pupils
The recruitment of new managers, including business and personnel managers
Additional resources and national "change management" programmes
Monitoring of progress on delivery.
A National Remodelling Team (NRT), led by Dame Pat Collarbone, has been established and members include experts from education and change management specialists. The NRT is working to ensure coherence with the government's broader education agenda and in particular is working in close liaison with WAMG. Remodelling support materials, including case studies and practical guidance on remodelling activities, are available on their website.
The Phases of the National Agreement
The contractual changes (download the guidelines
) will take place in three phases:
Phase I: effective from September 2003
Phase II: effective from September 2004
- Introduction of a 38 hour limit cover for all teachers
Phase III: effective from September 2005
- Introduction of 10% guaranteed professional time for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA)
- Introduction of dedicated headship time
- Introduction of new invigilation arrangements
A set of guidelines was produced to summarise the key elements within each phase of the agreement, to indicate where responsibility lay for future action and to inform schools and governing bodies of the approach to be taken by Children's and Lifelong Learning in supporting schools over the course of the next two years. Click here to download the guidelines.
Staffing Regulations, under Section 133 of the Education Act 2002, also came into force on 1 August 2003. These are statutory guidelines governing the role and deployment of support staff and as such must be considered. To download a copy click here.
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