Patrick McGrath, EdTech Specialist

BETT 2020: Unlock the potential of technology to minimize teacher workload

It’s impossible to ignore the pressure on teachers. The long hours, the marking, the paperwork - and that’s before we get to the actual job of teaching. It’s no secret and no surprise because by simply asking any teacher what their biggest challenge is, you will hear the same answer again and again: time. 


Texthelpers in front of large pile of paper sheets - winning at minimizing teacher workload

So, as we approach the biggest and most exciting education show of the year, BETT, it’s almost refreshing to hear that teacher workload and retention is receiving much needed recognition, and has been called out in the Department for Education's Edtech strategy as one of their top priorities - to reduce workload and improve the damning picture of the UK’s teaching staff situation. 

Workload is a fundamental component of the education infrastructure, but one that can be revolutionized, and with focus and the right strategies can change course in a positive way. 

The problem, at a glance 

  • Out of 35 countries, UK teachers have the fourth longest working hours,  at 51 hours per week. (Varkey Foundation)
  • More than a quarter of teachers and school leaders are thinking of leaving the profession in the next 12 months – mainly due to high workloads. (NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey)
  • In a survey of 775 teachers, 77% said that poor teacher mental health is having a detrimental impact on pupils’ progress. (Leeds Beckett University and Teachwire)

Time for change?

It comes to no surprise that this will be a hot topic at BETT 2020. Teacher and student wellbeing has always been a topic of interest for many delegates, but BETT this year has wellbeing as one of it’s six themes.

Within this, there will be particular focus on case studies to reduce teacher workload and improve staff retention. If you would like to attend some of these sessions, here’s the wellbeing agenda to ponder over. 

As well as this, BETT has invested in two new theaters dedicated to professional development, with workshops offering practical advice and useful resources for teachers, leaders, technicians and business managers across sectors. 

Can Edtech really make a difference? 

‘Technology is often associated with increased automation and reduced human interaction, although within the education sector it will never replace the role of our great teachers. 

However, I believe technology can be an effective tool to help reduce workload, increase efficiencies, engage students and communities, and provide tools to support excellent teaching and raise student attainment.’ - 

Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education April 2019 


Do you agree? Do you feel that technology can be an effective tool to help reduce your own workload and engage with your students in a much more efficient way? As an Edtech company ourselves, we might be a little bit biased. That’s why we have worked extensively with educators to develop technology that drives impact and creates positive outcomes, and ensures success within schools around the world - for both teachers and students.

We know that planning and marking are two areas that take up a huge amount of time outside of the classroom. So, imagine:
  • essay marking happening automatically and with less subjectivity
  • being able to build engaging resources and lesson plans faster, in multiple formats that can reach every learner
  • a classroom that is engaged and focused on tasks for longer, freeing up time to let you focus where it matters most
  • having technology to track progression, and make it easier to identify gaps where students need additional support
We truly believe that tech can be a force for good. Why make life difficult, when there are solutions that can change the status quo and positively impact the course of teacher wellbeing inside and outside of the classroom.

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If you’re planning on attending BETT 2020, we hope that you will come away with some incredible new ways to transform your classroom. 

If you would like to learn more about our Edtech solutions, then feel free to pop around to stand NH56 to see our tech in action, and instantly see how this can minimize your workload, whilst even improving learner outcomes!  


 

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