Christopher Whiteside MBE is Conservative County Councillor for the Egremont North and St Bees Division of Cumbria County Council. The division includes St Bees, Bigrigg, Wood End, Moor Row, part of the Mirehouse area of Whitehaven, and surrounding countryside.
He is also deputy chair (political and campaigning) of the North-West region of the voluntary wing of the Conservative party.
Chris lives and works in Copeland with his wife and family.
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Education secretary Damian Hinds promises to cut teachers' workload
In his first major speech to the teaching profession at the Association of School and College Leaders' conference in Birmingham, education secretary Damian Hinds promised to “strip away” pointless tasks to allow teachers to “focus on what actually matters”.
He appeared on stage with the chief inspector of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, and Geoff Barton, ASCL’s general secretary, in a discussion on how to tackle workload.
“And, clearly, one of the biggest threats to retention, and also to recruitment, is workload.
“Too many of our teachers and our school leaders are working too long hours – and on non-teaching tasks that are not helping children to learn.”
“We need to get back to the essence of successful teaching – strip away the workload that doesn’t add value and give teachers the time and the space to focus on what actually matters.”
The education secretary announced a commitment to work with OFSTED, regional schools commissioners, the Education and Skills Funding Agency and multi-academy trusts to clarify their roles and ensure that teachers and school leaders have a clear understanding of who they are accountable to.
Last month it was announced that Regional Schools Commissioners had agreed to dramatically scale back visits to schools to avoid duplication with Ofsted.
Mr Hinds promised today that there will be no new tests or assessments for primary schools, and no changes to the national curriculum, GCSE or A levels for the remainder of this Parliament, beyond those already announced.
He also promised to work with teaching unions and professional bodies to develop a strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention of teachers.
Mr Hinds added: “I know that the current accountability regime can feel very high-stakes for school leaders – and that this filters down to all staff.